Teleworking is Here to Stay. What Does That Mean for ATL?

An employee works at home on his cell phone and laptop

It’s been over a year since so many of us left the office for the last time and set up shop in our living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, and home offices.

Now that COVID cases are on the wane as vaccinations pick up, organizations are thinking about returning to the office – and how much teleworking will remain in place. A series of surveys taken in the past year by ARC’s Georgia Commute Options program shed light on what office culture in metro Atlanta will look like the post-COVID world.

Here are some highlights of the survey results, which are compiled in a newly released report:

Daily Teleworking the Norm during COVID

As you’d expect, teleworking became the norm during the COVID-19 pandemic. The numbers show just how big a shift has occurred.

Before COVID 19, nearly half – 44% – said they had never worked remotely. During the pandemic, more than two-thirds of respondents – 70% – said they had transitioned to teleworking 5 days a week.

Employers Embracing Idea of Full-Time Teleworking Post-Pandemic

A big question, of course, has been whether teleworking will “stick” after the pandemic. A survey of employers in the region indicates remote working will play a big role going forward.

According to the survey, the share of employers who expect employees will work from home nearly full-time post-pandemic has risen from 23% in April 2020 to 42% in January 2021.

Remote Work Offers Plenty of Perks…

Yep, there’s a benefit to ditching the commute, the survey found. Respondents overwhelmingly ((73%) said the switch to remote working had saved them money. More than half said that they experienced reduced stress by not commuting (54%) and were able to spend more time with family and friends (52%).

… and Some Challenges, Too

The office and our cozy cubicles weren’t all bad. More than a quarter of respondents said they had difficulty unplugging (28%), while 23% reported facing distractions from sources like kids and pets.

And Millennials experienced more challenges in remote work, being more likely to report loneliness, lower morale, and difficulty unplugging from work.

Check out the full report to learn more about how telework is changing the workplace.

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.