The Pros and Cons of Working From Home Versus Commuting to an Office
Career COVID-19

The Pros and Cons of Working From Home Versus Commuting to an Office

working from home

No commute and saving money are top perks why Americans like working from home than the office.

A new survey shows intriguing fresh findings on employee views of remote and in-office work. Respondents like remote work because they time save time by eliminating their commute (62%), greater flexibility (61%), and 55% save money. Employees also like that they can spend more time with those they live with (50%) and sleep in (43%).

Those are some revelations in office space demand dwindles as remote work grows in 2021. The research was done by Clever, a real estate education platform for home buyers, sellers, and investors. Some 1,000 Americans reported currently working from home for a company that has office space. Six percent of the respondents were African Americans.

Clever’s Francesca Ortegren, the report’s lead researcher, says Black folks who are working at home are likely to experience additional hurdles compared to their white counterparts due to the swath of socio-economic differences between Black and white families.

Working from home effectively often requires some dedicated workspace to ward off distractions and, perhaps most importantly, a robust internet connection. Black Americans are more likely to live in more crowded homes (20% more people to a Black home than a white home,  the Census show). So getting that peace and quiet is more difficult, creating additional stress and reduce productivity, Ortegen says.

Technology-wise, Black workers — especially younger folks — are at a disadvantage.

Only slightly more than half (58%) of Black adults in the U.S. report owning a computer, compared to over 80% of white Americans. Plus, Black Americans’ access to broadband internet can also impact their ability to work from home. Only about 67% of Black adults in the US have access to broadband internet versus about 80% of white adults, a Pew Research Survey shows.  So the ability to actually get any work done is limited almost immediately.

Further, Ortegren says more Black Americans live in urban areas (as opposed to suburbs), so working from home might not be as enticing when it comes to saving money or time from a commute.

She added Black employees are probably less likely to prefer working remotely compared to their white counterparts and, as a result, might be more eager to get back into the office.

Another survey finding revealed people don’t opt for in-office work because they worry for their health: 56% of workers say their company is not taking appropriate safety measures regarding COVID. And about 30% of remote employees plan to work remotely after COVID. However, the newly approved vaccines have over 60% expecting to by the second quarter of 2021 or earlier.

Yet the shift toward remote work may linger as a damaging blow to commercial real estate developers. Many companies are downsizing their office space to account for fewer in-office workers. Gross leasing activity in U.S. office space is much lower in 2020 than in previous years, with a 47% drop between the first and second quarters alone  And, while there was a slight uptick in the third quarter versus the second quarter. activity remains alarmingly low.