Workers are spending thousands of dollars less near their workplaces in major U.S. cities annually than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic because they’re working from home more often, according to a study last week by WFH Research.
New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., are losing more than $4,000 annually per employee in the city thanks to lower consumer spending on meals, entertainment and shopping, the survey found. According to an analysis by Bloomberg, New York is losing more than $12 billion annually due to remote work.
The percentage of days worked from home dropped to 27% in January, the lowest level since the pandemic began in 2020, according to WFH Research. That trend might continue as the U.S. public health emergency ends and COVID restrictions subside.
Among large cities, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Phoenix have seen the largest relative declines in people working on business premises, with in-person work days reduced by more than a third in each city. Employees working in white-collar industries such as tech, finance, and professional and business services were more likely to work from home than people in other lines of work, the survey found.
U.S. cities are losing revenue because people are commuting less
Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco and other U.S. cities are trying to revitalize their downtown neighborhoods to make up for lost business and foot traffic caused by employers allowing more people to work remotely since the pandemic began.
While some cities have encouraged private-sector workers to return to their offices or mandated full-time, in-person work for government employees, others are looking to convert underused office space into residential housing to increase foot traffic and revenue.