Americans who work from home are saving a collective 60 million hours of commuting time each day — and they’re using the extra time for fun, not work.
That’s according to a new analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The researchers looked at data from the American Time Use Survey, an annual Bureau of Labor Statistics poll, to learn more about how full-time remote workers and workers on hybrid schedules — who comprise some 15% and 30% of all full-time employees in the United States, respectively — spend the hours they're no longer devoting to travel.
The results? The New York Fed discovered that remote workers allocate just 35% of the time they're saving on commuting to their jobs. They also spend more of the day on non-work activities, meaning that they actually work less overall than their in-office counterparts.
Younger workers tended to allocate more of their extra time towards fun activities like social events, going out to restaurants and bars and exercising, the Fed’s researchers found. They also spent more time with people outside their households during those activities.
Older employees, on the other hand, were more likely to devote their extra time to childcare, household maintenance and repairs, and preparing meals. All age groups reported getting more sleep.
Those are only some of the perks of remote work. One recent survey by videoconferencing company Owl Labs found that workers who commute to an office spend twice as much on work-related expenses compared to remote workers — more than $5,000 extra over the course of a year. In other words, working from home can save workers some serious cash.
After all that, it’s no wonder that workers overwhelmingly prefer remote or hybrid schedules to full-time office work.
In fact, a survey conducted this spring by consulting firm McKiney found that the desire for a flexible working arrangement was one of the top three reasons people were looking for a new job.
Bosses, take note.