Coronavirus news has been taxing since April. Nonstop news of infection rates, layoffs, cancellations are all very difficult for which to manage. You might be tired of wearing a mask and may have cheated once or twice by not wearing it at the diesel pump. In spite of everything that has happened this year, there may be one tangible benefit that will pay dividends to truckers for many years to come: less traffic on the highway. Not just for the past few months, but well after the distribution of the vaccine.
Remote Working Revolution
According to an analysis of U.S. Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics data by FlexJobs, a job-search site, and research firm Global Workplace Analytic, the number of remote workers increased by 159% between 2005 and 2017. This was a growth rate of around 8.25% annually.
The coronavirus pandemic’s lockdowns kicked this into overdrive. Working from home was no longer a luxury of those who were proven to drive exceptional results, but a necessity on the part of many office-oriented businesses to keep afloat.
When the pandemic ends and offices are back open, some people might not come back. Workers will be used to rolling out of bed into work, lower car insurance premiums, and the ability to walk their dogs during their lunch break. The benefits of remote work also apply to management: with fewer people in the office at any given time, companies can save on renting office space.
Indirectly, workers in the trucking industry benefit immensely from the line of dominoes that COVID-19 has knocked down. The effects will be most notable right after sunrise and during sunset, as more people working from home means fewer cars on the road.
Less traffic yields many quality-of-life improvements for truckers, including fewer accidents and less time spent in traffic. With an overwhelming majority of truckers paid by the mile rather than hourly, lighter traffic ultimately means a larger check at the end of each pay period. It may take some time before this benefit for truckers overtakes the problematic job losses occurred in April, but it eventually will happen.
The long term numbers of what percent of Americans work from home full-time after the pandemic can obviously only be measured after the pandemic. Statista claims that the percentage of full-time employees working from home jumped from 17% to 44% at the peak of the pandemic. While there is next to no chance the number will stay that high after the vaccine (or even if it is that high now), it is highly likely the number will stay above 20%
Employees can work in their pajamas, companies will save on office supplies, and truckers have fewer obstacles on the road; everyone wins!