American Workers Live Nearly 3x Further Away From the Office

By: Anneken Tappe · March 08, 2024 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

Moving Away

The pandemic changed a lot about the way we work and live. With hybrid schedules and remote work now a norm in America’s work landscape, U.S. workers have moved further away from their offices.

Compared to pre-pandemic distances, U.S. employees now live nearly 3x further away from their workplaces, according to a study by Stanford University, WFH Research, and cloud payroll company Gusto.

The Stats

The number of American employees working remotely has come down significantly from its pandemic-era peak, but it’s still much higher at more than twice pre-pandemic levels, per a Gallup poll from mid-2023.

This shift has allowed Americans to move further away from their offices, as commutes were limited to a few days or eliminated altogether. In 2019, the median distance between U.S. employees’ homes and workplaces was around 10 miles. In 2023, this figure had risen to 27 miles. The number of employees living 50 or more miles away from their office also rose sharply over the same time period, jumping from only 1% to 5%.

In 2023, new hires lived an average of 35 miles from the office, compared to 10 miles in 2019, per the study. If this trend continues for the next decade, it could have a pronounced impact on city centers and their surrounding communities.

At this point, the trend is especially driven by millennials working in higher-paid industries, such as tech, finance, and insurance. Priorities like more affordable real estate, more space, and the desire to start a family, are often at play when people leave urban centers.

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