Quality of life, remote work and population change in post-COVID America
The COVID pandemic caused an explosion of remote work across the United States. By the end of 2022, the Census reported that the US had 44 million remote workers, with more than a million residing in Indiana. This is about 1/3rd of our workforce. This explosion of remote work has continued to grow after the end of COVID.
Remote work decouples the nexus between place of work and place of residence. For full time remote workers (about one out of every four), this decoupling may be complete. For the remainder, less frequent need to commute to work vastly expands the geography of work and home. This has major implications for population realignment in the United States, and begs several questions. What factors affect the location decision of remote workers? Have these factors changes from pre-COVID periods. Does quality of life matter, and how do we measure quality of life? What Amenities predict high quality of life?
This presentation introduces a county level measurement of quality of life, and provides answers to these questions. The focus of this talk will be on the Midwest, and ties local policies to the research findings about quality of life, amenities and the work from home changes coming to every community.