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Maryland named 3rd-best state for working from home, WalletHub study

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BALTIMORE, MD—With 12.7% of full-time employees now working entirely from home and another 28.2% having a hybrid schedule, the personal-finance website WalletHub this week  released its report on the Best States for Working from Home, as well as expert commentary.

Maryland came in at No. 3 on the list behind Delaware and Utah.

To identify which states are most conducive to working from home, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 12 key metrics. The data set ranges from the share of workers working from home to internet cost and cybersecurity. We also considered factors like how large and how crowded homes are in the state. Together, these metrics show how feasible working from home is in terms of cost, comfort and safety.

Working from Home in Maryland (1=Best, 25=Avg.):

  • 12th – Share of Population Working from Home
  • 20th – Share of Potential Telecommuters
  • 10th – Households’ Internet Access
  • 27th – Average Home Square Footage
  • 30th – Cybersecurity
  • 9th – Internet Cost

What is the work from home outlook for 2023 and beyond?

“The demand to work from home should continue to be strong throughout the rest of 2023 and increase into the future. Employers were forced to allow employees to work from anywhere during the pandemic, and that experiment largely proved successful. Trying to un-ring that bell and bring employees back into offices on an ongoing basis because that was the pre-pandemic model may be frustratingly difficult as many employees have gotten a taste of remote work as a viable work arrangement. Working from home may not be suitable for every job or every worker. Higher-skilled, professional jobs which require limited oversight are those most likely to be considered for work-from-home arrangements while many service, retail, and manufacturing jobs will still require performing work at the employer’s location. But I believe we will see work-from-home arrangements expand to a wider range of lower-skilled, white-collared jobs. I also expect we will see tremendous variation across employers in the structure of these work arrangements from completely working from home to hybrid arrangements where 1-2 days are spent in the office with the rest of the week working from home, to compressed work schedules, such as the 4-day work week.”
Joseph P. Broschak – Associate Professor; Affiliated Faculty, University of Arizona

“Work from home is going to continue to be popular and will be an essential option to retain talent in some sectors. Offering the option to work from home gives an employer a competitive advantage in today’s labor market, which still favors job applicants.”
Alyssa McGonagle, Ph.D. – Associate Professor; Associate Editor, Occupational Health Science, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Should companies invest more of their resources in establishing a functional work-from-home alternative for their employees?

“Employers first need to weigh whether offering or continuing to offer, work at home or hybrid options is desirable for them. There are advantages: Work-at-home alternatives can buoy recruiting, support family-friendly work policies, and reduce the need for expensive office space. In addition, studies are finding that working at home can improve productivity. If a decision is made to commit to work-at-home options, then a company should definitely invest in the resources to do so successfully.”
David C. Yamada – Professor, Suffolk University Law School

“I think employers would be wise to invest more resources to support work-from-home arrangements. Some investments will be needed in technology, such as computer and communication hardware, and high-speed internet access, to [ensure] employees have the right tools and adequate computer security to perform their jobs efficiently and effectively and to collaborate with coworkers. But employers would also benefit from developing organizational policies that govern work-from-home arrangements and from training managers and supervisors on how to communicate with, monitor, and develop a more remote workforce. Insuring that employees have sufficient resources to perform their jobs is just one part of the equation. Work-from-home arrangements require employers to think differently about managing workers’ careers, career development, and work culture.”
Joseph P. Broschak – Associate Professor; Affiliated Faculty, University of Arizona

What are the most important advantages and disadvantages of working from home?

“The data coming out of the forced switch to virtual work is fairly consistently showing increases in productivity, job satisfaction, and work/life balance. Many of the perceived dangers such as cultural fit, retention, and ‘quiet quitting’ have generally not been found in larger samples. The additional advantages of attracting a larger pool of high-quality candidates that are not limited to your company’s geography or that are willing to move are clear. Further, reduced operating costs of maintaining larger facilities are also an advantage for many organizations. The disadvantages include roles that do not lend themselves to virtual work and the potential resentment in those workers as their colleagues are offered flexibility that does not mirror their experiences. Another issue is that a portion of the workforce enjoys traditional work from the clear delineation of work and non-work to the in-person interactions. As with most policies work from home has many advantages but is not for everyone or every role and as a company is confronted with various expectations of what work looks like for different employees there will likely be unexpected ripples from any policy changes.”
Joel T. Nadler, Ph.D. – Former Professor, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; Currently Senior Associate with Aon: Assessment Solutions

“Work-from-home options are attractive to many workers for a variety of reasons. These are varied and personal, including avoiding the stress and expense of long commutes, avoiding office politics and microaggressions, assisting with focus and productivity by avoiding noisy, distracting open office environments, and personal preference. My research shows that work-from-home arrangements are especially important for workers with chronic health conditions, who report improved abilities to manage work and health challenges when working from home. Time and energy are precious resources these workers may lack due to the need to attain healthcare and depletion due to disease processes and associated symptoms. Saving time and energy that would have been spent on commuting to work allows these workers to continue working productively when they otherwise would not be able to. Working from home also allows easy access to fresh foods to meet dietary restrictions, bathrooms if symptoms necessitate close access, and the ability to optimally set up one’s workstation to meet health-related needs.”
Alyssa McGonagle, Ph.D. – Associate Professor; Associate Editor, Occupational Health Science, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

The full report can be viewed online here at WalletHub.

More in the video below.

Photo via Pixabay

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