A traffic jam seen from above

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Remote Workers Less Willing to Commute for Jobs

May 12, 2021

A new survey from realtor.com® of nearly 4,000 U.S. adults shows that almost 60% of new homeowners who purchased in the last 12 months are working from home, and 62% prefer to continue working remotely.

As employers bring workers back to the workplace, 48% of survey respondents said they’d try to arrange a flexible schedule that would allow for both in-office and remote work. Nearly a quarter said they will look for a new job, while 30% of the nearly 4,000 respondents said they would willingly return to the office. Eight percent say they would sell the home they purchased during the pandemic to move closer to work again.

Many new homeowners moved farther from their workplaces during the pandemic as working remotely stretched on. Nearly four in 10 respondents said they would now have to travel 30 minutes or more each day to their office if they returned to the workplace. Eighteen percent of new homeowners would have to commute more than 60 minutes each way.

“Throughout the last year we have seen home buyers across the country, empowered by the newfound ability to work remotely, moving farther and farther from crowded urban downtowns in search of more space, higher quality of life, and a lower cost of living,” says George Ratiu, senior economist at realtor.com®. “Our survey data shows that people are really enjoying their new communities and larger homes, and aren’t willing to give them up anytime soon.”

As such, if companies return to more conservative policies on working from home, they could see workers leave, creating an influx of new homeowners in the job market, Ratiu continues. “For companies willing to stay more flexible with either hybrid or entirely remote opportunities, there is a large cohort of young professionals with growing families who value homeownership and affordability, and welcome the benefits of a technologically enhanced employment landscape,” Ratiu says.

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