A new study from University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Department of Transportation offers the most comprehensive look to date at how telecommuting in Minnesota has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
In 2020, Minnesota saw a pivotal shift in the number of people working from home due to the pandemic. MnDOT wanted to capture Minnesota-specific data to understand who is working from home, how it is going, and what the future might look like.
- While the image of an average telecommuter tends to skew young, Extension researchers found that Baby Boomers — the oldest among workers — telecommuted the most. The researchers surveyed more than 1,200 Minnesota employees and employers, in addition to conducting focus groups.
- Looking forward, the state can expect the greatest levels of telecommuting from people with longer commutes, two-year college degrees and metro-area homes. The data serves as a snapshot in time; it has evolved since 2021 and will continue to change.
- Whereas three-quarters of employees reported that their organizations will allow teleworking at least part-time post-COVID, not all employers are on board. Nearly a quarter of surveyed employers oppose all but the most minimal telecommuting going forward, even if work allows for it.
- Greater Minnesota respondents were more likely to telecommute no more than one day a week post-pandemic, while Twin Cities respondents were more likely to telecommute two to three days a week. However, there was no difference between Greater Minnesota and the metro area if respondents were likely to commute four to five days a week.
- People with children at home are more likely to have formal post-pandemic telecommuting agreements with their employers.
- Roughly a quarter of employers may recruit completely remote talent from outside of Minnesota.