More than a fifth of New Jersey workers ages 16 and older work remotely. A confluence of factors is likely responsible for the broad uptake of telecommuting in New Jersey — even after pandemic shutdowns forced immediate changes to work in 2020 — though long commute times, the proximity of New York City, and the highly professional nature of the state’s workforce could be largely responsible for the continued popularity of working from home, said Jim Hughes, dean emeritus of Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.
“We probably have a higher proportion than average in terms of professional and business services, communications and the like, and that’s where you have the highest work from home. If you’re in retail, if you’re working in a fulfillment center — warehouse distribution and the like — you have to be there,” he said. “If you’re a plumber, you can’t work from home.”
The more educated a state is, the more likely it is to have workers in professionalized fields that can more easily accommodate telecommutes.