Weeks into the coronavirus pandemic as businesses were ordered to close and social distancing became the norm, some workers were forced to work from home for months, even as some pandemic-related restrictions were lifted and some companies ordered their workers back into the office. But has that trend remained?
U.S. Census estimates show that the number of people working from home almost doubled since 2019, from just under 94,000 to over 186,000 in 2021, the most recent year with yearly data available.
Remote workers made up 10% of the state’s working population in the state in 2021.
Those commuting in personal vehicles still made up the majority of the workforce, 81.7% in 2021, but their numbers dropped 5%, from almost 154,000 to 146,000. The number of people commuting via public transportation also decreased by 17.4%.
Since the data is as of 2021, it doesn’t take into account the entire effect of the Omicron variant surge in 2022 and restriction relaxations later in the year. 2022 Census estimates will be released later this year.
The rise in remote work is creating rippling effects across cities.
Downtowns are bustling less and office spaces are becoming vacant, creating concerns among city officials. In turn, money is being poured into urban revival projects, office spaces are being repurposed and some companies are either luring or demanding that workers come back.
Whether the rise in remote working continues is an unanswered question, as a fine line continues to develop between worker demands for hybrid or remote work and businesses wanting their employees back in the office.
Read more: How Connecticut changed during COVID, in 10 charts