More than 40% of DC area workforce teleworks on a typical day, report shows

The coronavirus pandemic made working from home a more popular concept and a recent report shows that staggering changes in commuter patterns in the D.C. area have led to a new world for drivers.

Nearly 1.5 million employees in the D.C. region are now teleworking on a typical workday, according to a recently released Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments report.

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That amounts to 44% of all workers in the D.C. region — a figure five-times higher when compared to 2019, when there were fewer than 300,000 workers teleworking on a typical workday.

“There was an explosion in teleworking,” said Nicholas Ramfos, a transportation expert with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. “It did have a dramatic impact on commuting.”

According to the report, 95% of the region’s employees are teleworking at least one day per week.

Those who telework said they do so more than three days per week on average, which is about triple the frequency that was found in 2019.

The report found that teleworking has replaced 48% of all weekly commute trips, up from just 10% in 2019.

“More than half of teleworkers were teleworking all their workdays, substantially raising the average across all teleworkers,” the report found — and the change might become permanent, if employees have their way.

“Over 90% of current teleworkers would like to telework at least one day a week in the future and over 70% want to telework at least three days or more per week,” Ramfos said.

For those employees driving to work and not teleworking, 78% of their trips are now made by driving alone, an increase of 14% when compared to 2019, the report found.

Office worker occupancy in the D.C. region remained below the national average and the second lowest among the 10 largest markets according to a September report by commercial real estate property company JLL.

The “State of the Commute Survey,” was composed of more than 8,000 interviews collected from employed adult residents in the D.C. region. The survey used randomly selected postal addresses and was conducted through the internet. The margin of error was plus-or-minus 1.1 percentage points.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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