Many workers all across the country (and across the world, for that matter) are now working from home. That means they no longer have to deal with one of the biggest sources of stress millions of Americans have dealt with for years upon end — commuting.
The lack of a daily commute has undoubtedly improved the lives of countless Americans. No more spending hours upon end fighting traffic, getting stressed out dealing with crazy drivers, missing time with loved ones, and spending a ton of money on the costs of operating a vehicle. Simply put, commuting is bad for our health (not to mention the environment’s health) and it’s bad for our wallets.
Without a grueling daily commute, a lot of us are finding we have more time and money on our hands. And we’re also reducing our environmental footprint. And with things seemingly turning back to normal, there are plenty of workers that would rather forego the return to the office and remain remote.
So, that got us wondering — just how much money did people save in 2021 by working from home? And how much less pollution did they put out?
We crunched the numbers using commuting data from nearly 100 top American cities, and the results are pretty eye-opening. The average American could have saved up to $2,398 in commuting costs by working from home in 2021.
Not only that, Americans who worked from home in 2021 could have avoided putting out 3,428.14 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) in tailpipe emissions.
Check out the interactive map below to see how much money you may have saved and how much you reduced your environmental footprint by working from home in your city.
Here’s how we came up with our calculations.
We started with the assumption that the average American works 242.8 days per year. We got that by multiplying 52 weeks x 5 days a week and then subtracting the 17.2 days of vacation workers take per year on average.
Then we used data from the US Census Bureau on average commute distances in nearly 100 US cities as well as AAA data showing the per-mile cost of owning and operating a vehicle in 2021 (about 62 cents per mile for the average sedan when you factor in gas, maintenance, and other costs).
Tips for Using the Map
The above map is designed to be completely interactive, and includes data points for around 100 biggest cities across the United States.
If you want to see the data for your area, just click the dot that’s closest to where you live, and you’ll see a variety of data points in the box that appears. You can also use the search bar atop the map to try to find info for your area.
Tip for mobile users: The map might display better on your device if you flip it horizontally.