The COVID-19 pandemic and the future of telecommuting in the United States

Deborah Salon, Laura Mirtich, Matthew Wigginton Bhagat-Conway, Adam Costello, Ehsan Rahimi, Abolfazl (Kouros) Mohammadian, Rishabh Singh Chauhan, Sybil Derrible, Denise da Silva Baker, Ram M. Pendyala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study focuses on an important transport-related long-term effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States: an increase in telecommuting. Analyzing a nationally representative panel survey of adults, we find that 40–50% of workers expect to telecommute at least a few times per month post-pandemic, up from 24% pre-COVID. If given the option, 90–95% of those who first telecommuted during the pandemic plan to continue the practice regularly. We also find that new telecommuters are demographically similar to pre-COVID telecommuters. Both pre- and post-COVID, higher educational attainment and income, together with certain job categories, largely determine whether workers have the option to telecommute. Despite growth in telecommuting, approximately half of workers expect to remain unable to telecommute and between 2/3 and 3/4 of workers expect their post-pandemic telecommuting patterns to be unchanged from their pre-COVID patterns. This limits the contribution telecommuting can make to reducing peak hour transport demand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103473
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Disruption
  • Remote work
  • Survey
  • Telecommute
  • Telework
  • Work from home

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Environmental Science(all)


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