Metro Atlanta Survey Results: Adios, Traditional Work Week

A woman teleworks while drinking coffee.

We’ve heard a lot about teleworking lately: how COVID-19 has revved up the pace on adaptations for working at home, about the equity divide between those who can work online and those who can’t, and, of course, all those tutorials about how to look TV-newscaster-perfect during your weekly team Zoom call. (Heck, we even did a podcast about this stuff waaaay back in March. Remember March?)

One big upshot from all this is that teleworking is perhaps the only part of the pandemic that many of us actually like—a conclusion backed up recently by a poll from Georgia Commute Options (GCO).

Among the top findings of the poll—which asked about 3,000 metro Atlantans about their previous and current work arrangements:

  • At the time of the survey (April), respondents were working from home an average of 4.6 days a week—that’s up from less than one day a week, pre-pandemic.
  • Most respondents did want to return to working-at-work—but not full-time. People told GCO that they wanted to work from home more than they had before: an average of 2.5 days per week. That’s a 213% increase from the pre-pandemic level.

As for why metro Atlantans like working from home so much, here are the benefits respondents reported:

  • Saving money by not commuting (73%)
  • Decreased stress due to not commuting (53%)
  • Having more time to spend on household projects (54%)
  • Spending more time with family (52%)
  • Sleeping more (46%)
  • Feeling more productive (39%)

We didn’t see “working in yoga pants” on there but have to wonder if that’s at least part of the draw.

The survey also polled execs from a number of the state’s largest employers, including Coca-Cola, Cox, Georgia Power, Primerica, and State Farm. Here’s what they said:

  • Before the pandemic, less than 5% of these companies’ workforces participated in a company telework program. By the end of March of this year, some 90% was working from home.
  • 69% said they believed that more employees would work from home in the future, with 23% saying that more employees would telework full-time.

Read more about the survey and check out more in this overview document.

What’s Next ATL, produced by the Atlanta Regional Commission, is a community resource that explores how metro Atlanta is growing and changing, and how the region is addressing its most pressing challenges.