7th July 2022

Is the Rising Cost of Gas and Cars Making Remote Work More Beneficial?

Benefits of Remote Work

The pandemic saw a surge in remote work and record-high gas prices continue to encourage this trend. With the current inflation in the US, we’re seeing gas prices going up and the price of cars rising, as well. Now, according to CBS, saving money on a commute is making hybrid work options all the more attractive.

If your commute to work is draining your budget, you’re not alone. We’ve seen how the benefits of working from home are causing remote workers to refuse to return to the office, and limiting gas use is now near the top of the benefits list for many. In fact, the benefits of working from home in this inflated market may reach further than you realize.

Working From Home Saves You Money Directly

A study done by the Census Bureau indicates the length of the average commute to work has been increasing over the last few years, rising by 10% from 2006 to 2019. This means a lot of us are likely spending more on gas already than we were a few years ago. With the recent spikes in price, it’s safe to assume most of us are spending much more on gas than we planned to just to get to work every day. The average gas price as of April 4 was $4.19 per gallon, beating the previous record of $4.10 per gallon in 2008. With prices like this, travel can quickly become overwhelming.

Naturally, the easiest way to save money on gas is to avoid using it! Thus, working from home can directly save you money otherwise spent on your daily commute. For some, this may be a small amount, but for others, it could be a large sum of money. CBS says some workers have been forced to quit their jobs because they “simply can’t afford to drive to work anymore at their current rate of pay.” Companies going fully remote, or at least offering the option to employees who need it, could be relieving a massive burden on their workforce.

Cutting Out Gas for a Commute Helps Balance Your Budget in Other Areas

Unfortunately, increasing fuel prices aren’t the only concern. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates consumer prices have risen by 8.6% since May of 2021, the largest spike since 1941. This means you’re paying more for almost everything, not just gas. Therefore, not spending money on gas for a commute means you have more to use in other parts of your budget. According to Think Remote, “nine out of ten [workers] want more remote work as a result of the rising cost of living.

For many, money saved on gas isn’t going toward frivolous spending, but toward necessities. This means that even working from home a few days a week can make a major difference in financial security for a lot of employees. CBS cites Phillip Barton, a financial advisor based in North Carolina, who had to reduce his time in the office to Mondays and Fridays only when the cost of his commute jumped from $85 per week to $140. Though Barton says he prefers being in the office, he is grateful to be saving money by working from home three times a week.

More People Working From Home Means Less Demand for Gas

Less demand for gas means gas companies are able to lower the price for everyone. Since there are a number of professions, such as the medical field, where working from home is not an option, it’s all the more critical for companies who can afford to be flexible to do so. Think Remote quotes UK CEO Victoria Short saying, “… the International Energy Agency recommended its members introduce emergency measures to restrain demand, including working from home.” Allowing more employees to work from home helps balance the price of gas for people who are unable to do so.

Unfortunately, experts seem to think inflation, and therefore gas prices, will remain elevated for most of the year. With no immediate relief in sight, encouraging more employees to work from home could become a necessary means of supporting one another by limiting the demand for gas. We’re starting to see the benefits of working from home aren’t just limited to the individual.

Remote Work is Proving Very Doable for Many Companies

Though a large portion of the population has seen remote work become a viable option for their company, not every business wants to continue with it for one reason or another. Despite the hesitation some companies feel, we’ve seen remote work be just as effective as in-person work, and in some cases, even more effective. Ultimately, we have nothing to fear from working remotely, so the question becomes, why not take it on? Its benefits certainly seem to outweigh its drawbacks in most cases.

If you find yourself leading a company and struggling with efficient work-from-home methods, there are many resources available. You can receive training on Zoom strategies, guidelines for email management, and even productivity training to help lead your team well remotely. The truth is, remote work is likely here to stay, and it’s in your best interest to make sure your company can offer your employees what they need in this unprecedented time.

CBS says companies going fully remote can expect to have a leg up in recruiting versus companies who don’t. These days, working from home is about more than just the individual benefits; it’s about creating a system to support all of us as we navigate the difficulties in our world.

Where Does This Leave Us?

The time since 2020 has taught us that we can’t predict the future; instead, we have to do the best with what we’re given. For many people, working from home is becoming not only beneficial but necessary. Rising gas prices and inflation are continuing to push us further down the work-from-home route.

Efficient, effective remote work is a crucial part of today’s job market and it’s becoming more and more beneficial for the individual and the workforce as a whole. Fortunately, you’re not alone in figuring out how to best lead your company or your employees in the midst of hybrid and remote work. There are a number of resources available for you at https://www.workingsimply.com/ to help you be the best remote leader you can be, from Zoom training to email inbox management guidance.