Remote working is saving employees an average of 72 minutes in commuting time per day, most of which they’re turning around and spending on work-related duties, according to a study by the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research.

The study, which examined the commuting habits of full-time working adults in 27 countries, found Canadian employees saved roughly 65 minutes by working remotely.

On average, employees spent 40 per cent of that saved time completing extra work on primary and secondary jobs, while a third (34 per cent) was spent on leisure activities and 11 per cent went towards caregiving duties. On average, both men and women worked about 1.7 full days at home.

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Employees who work from home saved roughly two hours in commuting time per week in 2021 and 2022 and are projected to save one hour per week after the coronavirus pandemic ends, equivalent to 2.2 per cent of a 46-hour workweek that includes 40 paid hours and six hours of commuting.

The study noted long commutes, unpredictable commute times and congested road conditions push the private value of time savings above the after-tax wage, while short, predictable and pleasant commutes push the private value below the after-tax wage.

Women with children devoted 11.4 minutes of their daily time savings to caregiving activities, while men devoted nine minutes. Men also devoted about two more minutes of their time savings to leisure.

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