According to a new survey conducted by the University of Southern California and the California Emerging Technology Fund, it looks like people would prefer to work from home even when the pandemic is over.
The study explored how Californians see remote work, telehealth, and remote learning after over a year of being in a health crisis. As evidenced in the research, the hesitances that people experienced with these practices have all been met with a warm welcome.
In a statement released by the study’s lead researcher, Hernan Galperin, “we’re seeing a seismic shift in the way people want to work, learn, and manage health visits among those who have broadband access. Those changes give us a real opportunity to cut congestion and carbon emissions.”
The survey results revealed that 42% of currently full-time remote workers wish to continue working from home post-pandemic. 21% of the respondents who want to keep working from home said they would be willing to go into their office one or two times a week. Only 17% of the survey participants said that they want to go back to working five days a week at their workplace.
The study also revealed that college-educated women were more likely to be able to work from home and that those between 18 and 34 were the least likely to be able to work from home.
In distance learning, the study showed that one-third of Californians aged 18 and above admitted to taking an online training or class during the health crisis. Two-thirds of the respondents said they would continue distance learning if they had an opportunity.
More surprisingly, the use of telehealth during the pandemic increased favorably. A little over half of the survey respondents were able to gain healthcare access via phone, computer, or smartphone. The survey also showed that people of color were less likely to utilize these services. And despite their lack of tech-savviness and low internet connectivity, seniors aged 65 and above used telehealth services the most.
The study also found that traffic could be drastically improved with the wider adoption of distance learning, telehealth, and telecommuting. Over half of the respondents expected that their commute will be cut to at least once a week after the pandemic. Meanwhile, 70% of the respondents who made use of telehealth services believe they could cut their medical-related car trips by at least half post-pandemic.