clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Teleworking is on the rise. In car-obsessed Atlanta, can the trend keep growing?

New, 16 comments

An Atlanta Regional Commission survey shows nearly half of Atlantans now work from home—at least sometimes

Traffic streams in and out of downtown Atlanta on a recent, cloudy night.
A rare instance of traffic moving.
Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta

Tell your boss you’re not coming to the office next week.

Actually, don’t do that. But consider for a moment the impact such a move could have on the congestion plaguing metro Atlanta’s roadways—especially if that decision was part of a major trend.

The potentially good news: According to the Atlanta Regional Commission, teleworking is on the rise.

Teleworking is defined more simply as working from home, and the results of ARC’s Regional Commuter Survey suggest more and more Atlantans are on board with the idea. (Thousands of employees around the Perimeter tried teleworking late last year, too.)

Roughly 41 percent of more than 5,000 survey respondents told the organization they telework at least occasionally. That represents a nearly two-fold uptick since 2007, when ARC first began tallying the stats.

“If employees have their way, telework will continue to grow,” reads an ARC announcement of the survey’s findings. It notes that 80 percent of “non-teleworkers” who have jobs that would allow teleworking would be inclined to try it if their employer offered an official telework program.

The survey results also painted something of a depressing—albeit unsurprising—picture of Atlanta’s traffic conundrum: The vast majority of commute trips—76 percent—are by people driving alone.

Additionally, nearly 40 percent of commuters who recently moved or relocated jobs claimed the amount of time it took to get to work played a role in their decisions.

Essentially, the grind to get to the grind is weighing on people—even more than their cost of living or income.

The ARC’s research also identified an opportunity to boost mass transit ridership: 10 percent of survey respondents commute via transit today, but another 14 percent said they had access to transit and could consider making the switch from driving.

However, the region’s abundance of free parking acts as a deterrent for those on the fence.

“Roughly 80 percent of commuters said that they have free parking at their place of work,” the press release says.

The survey results also identify a need for dependability when commuting: Which methods of transportation offer the most reliable trip times and flexibility?

People who choose alternative modes of transportation, though, prioritized saving money and avoiding traffic congestion, per the study.

Commuters are also, of course, turning to technology to ease their daily trips.

Eighty percent of those surveyed said they’d used digital apps on their phones to find out how long it would take them to reach their destinations, and more than 40 percent said they’d resorted to using services like Uber and Lyft.