Remote work and hybrid offices have saved Americans around 60 million hours of commute time alone each day over the past few months, according to American Time Use Survey.
Today, more than 15% of the US workforce works remotely, with around 30% working in hybrid offices, which they visit only once or twice a week.
Remote work has helped most workers attain a balance between work and social life, with the study finding many spend the bonus time on their physical well-being.
Some employees also use the extra time to look after children, seek better jobs and earn additional income.
What Have Workers Done with the Time Freed up by Commuting Less? https://t.co/Nsu43jnvRx
— Liberty St Economics (@LibertyStEcon) October 18, 2022
A large majority of teleworkers start their working hours earlier than scheduled, but they quickly move on to activities unrelated to their paid work.
“Even though employees reported allocating 35 percent of their saved commute time to work, they spent fewer total hours in paid employment,” stated the Federal Reserve of New York, which oversaw the study’s data.
Workers also have more time to spend alone or with loved ones. Free time spent alone or in the company of household members increased by 2.3 hours, the bank found.
“We see notable increases in leisure time and sleeping. The rise in leisure was particularly pronounced among younger Americans, who reported spending more time at social events, eating at restaurants or bars and exercising.”
“Older age groups, on the other hand, tended to allocate more time to nonmarket work, such as activities related to childcare, the maintenance of the household, repairs and meal preparation,” the report noted.