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Updated Oct 24, 2023

How Much Does It Cost You to Go to Work?

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Chad Brooks, Business Strategy Insider Managing Editor

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The National Bureau of Economic Research has found that 37% of American jobs can feasibly be done remotely. Location flexibility can be a boon for employees, since staying home can save them money on commuting, child care and more. Employers also stand to benefit: Although they might have less control over a physically distant team, remote arrangements can save them money too. Here’s what employees and employers alike should know.

How much money remote workers save

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to drastic increases in work-from-home arrangements – and opportunities to assess how much money former commuters can save. 

Near the start of the pandemic, Zippia found that remote work could cut employee expenses by $4,600 annually across all categories. A 2021 LendingTree study also found that shifting to remote work helped the average American reduce their debt. Around the same time, Bankrate found that nearly 60% of remote employees discovered that working from home improved their financial situation.

Did You Know?Did you know

An Upwork survey released six months into the pandemic found that shifting to remote work had already saved the average American $2,000 on commuting. Now that the pandemic has lasted over two years, COVID-era remote work may have saved people $8,000 on commuting.

Employers benefit from work-from-home arrangements as well. A fully remote team eliminates the need for an office and all the overhead that comes with it. Even companies that keep their offices but switch to half-remote, half-in-person arrangements can reduce costs. According to Global Workplace Analytics, this arrangement can save a small business owner $11,000 per employee per year. That’s money you can pour back into your team.

Max Freedman contributed to the writing and reporting in this article. 

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Chad Brooks, Business Strategy Insider Managing Editor
Chad Brooks is the author of How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business. He has spent more than 10 years guiding prospective entrepreneurs and business owners on the ins and outs of launching a startup, scaling a company and maintaining profitable growth. Within the world of entrepreneurship, he is particularly passionate about small business communications tools, such as unified communications systems, video conferencing solutions and conference call services. Brooks, who holds a degree in journalism from Indiana University, has lent his business expertise to a number of esteemed publications, including Huffington Post, CNBC, Fox Business and Laptop Mag. He regularly consults with B2B companies to stay on top of the latest business trends and direct growing enterprises toward the modern-day business technology required in today's digitally advanced world.
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