One effect of the coronavirus pandemic has been a huge increase in the number of Americans working from home. The question is: How many of them will be able to do it when the COVID-19 crisis fades?
An early-April 2020 MIT survey of 25,000 American workers found that 34% of those who’d been employed four weeks earlier said they’re currently working from home. Combined with the roughly 15% who said they’d been working from home pre-COVID-19, that means nearly half the U.S. workforce might now be remote workers. And that’s also true, the researchers say, for workers 55 and older.
The Brookings Institution’s Katherine Guyot and Isabel V. Sawhill just wrote their take on remote work and COVID-19, calling the pandemic “among other things, a massive experiment in telecommuting.”
In the recent webinar, Is Self-Quarantine the Fabled Future of Work?, co-host Brigid Schulte, director of the Better Life Lab at the nonpartisan think tank New America, said: “This virus is calling into question the way we work on such a huge level.”
Cali Williams Yost, a flexwork expert and founder of the Flex + Strategy Group in Madison, N.J. says that as a result of COVID-19: “Work is forever changed” because “flexible work was made for times like these.”
Editor of the Money and Work channels for NextAvenue.org