Research by Noland, Younes, Zhang: What do People Want to do Instead of Commuting to Work?

May 30, 2023


The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a sudden shift to working at home. People stopped commuting to their jobs. We fielded two surveys in New Jersey during the pandemic and included questions on what respondents did with time saved from not commuting as well as which activities they wished to see continue after the pandemic subsides. Key results include that a majority of respondents reported spending more time with their family, almost half spent time watching TV or were on the internet, a large share slept later, and many walked more for exercise. We also queried respondents on activities they would like to continue after the pandemic is over, with nearly half desiring to work at home at least some of the time and about a third desiring to commute less. We also present results by gender, finding some differences in time use and preferences.


Noland, Robert B., Hannah Younes, and Wenwen Zhang. 2023. “What Do People Want to Do Instead of Commuting to Work?” Findings, May.

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