According to a recent OCTA survey, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may have lasting effects on public attitudes, working arrangements, and travel behaviors. OCTA worked with True North Inc., a market research firm, to conduct a scientific survey during July 2020. According to the survey, COVID-19 impacts have been dramatic. Among survey respondents:
- Unemployment increased from 4% to 18% between February and June.
- Working from home increased from 0.8 days per week to 2.6 days per week for the average employee.
- Working exclusively from home increased from 12% to 47% of employees
- Reductions in commute and non-work trips have resulted in large decreases in transit, active transportation, and rideshare usage
- Reductions in transit, active transportation, rideshare, and driving are occurring for a mix of reasons – higher unemployment, remote work, and fewer opportunities for non-work trips
- Once the pandemic is over, about half of employees prefer to maintain (or increase) the percentage of days they work remotely.
The benefits of implementing and increasing a remote work program can be substantial for employers and include:
- Improving South Coast AQMD Compliance – Companies with 250+ employees regulated by Rule 2202 can add remote working as a strategy to enhance their rideshare plan.
- Improving Employee Morale – Eliminating commutes reduces stress, often resulting in happier, better-rested employees with higher productivity and better employee retention.
- Saving Money – An employer can save an average of $11,000 per year per half-time remote worker according to a report provided to Congress by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.