Some workers need to leave the house

St. Paul - Rice Park
Saint Paul – Rice Park

The idea of living in a remote location and working from home has really caught on. When I read real estate news it is all about people moving to the suburbs and into small towns and working from home.  There are also many articles about the joys of being a digital nomad and working from various location destinations.

I can think of all sorts of jobs where it would be hard to work remotely. Doctors probably can’t work from home, neither can trash haulers or baristas. I can see how the governor could work from home but if firefighters stayed home we would be in trouble.

After doing a little research I found some studies about who can work from home.

In a new white paper, Chicago Booth economists found that roughly 34% of U.S. jobs can be performed at home. They also estimated that those jobs account for 44% of all wages.

Just because jobs can be done from home doesn’t mean they are being done from home. It is hard to tell how many people are working remotely right now. Most of the numbers I have seen are at less than 20% with projections of up to 20% in the next few years. There are all sorts of numbers about how many hours or days someone works remotely.

If a worker works from home two days a week, doesn’t that limit where they can live?

That is indeed significant but it is also a true statement that most people will not be working remotely in 2022.

The jobs that can be done remotely are the highest paying jobs. The lowest-paid workers and the highest-paid workers live in two very different worlds. It gives me cause to ponder the future of the city if the highest-paid workers move out and work remotely.

I also wonder how many people can live anywhere they want to and work remotely. I suspect that the number is still fairly small. Most people can not afford to live anywhere they want to even if they can work from home.

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