Work-from-home culture takes root in California

About 64% of California adults in households with annual incomes of $150,000 or higher said at least one household member had worked from home some portion of the week. By comparison, just 15% of California adults in households with annual incomes of less than $50,000 said a household member had worked from home at least part of the week. (File photo by Chuck Bennett, Contributing Photographer)

By Phillip Reese | Kaiser Health News

Even as pandemic lockdowns fade into memory, Covid-19 has transformed California’s workplace culture in ways researchers say will reverberate well beyond 2022.

According to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau, working from home for some portion of the week has become the new normal for a large segment of Californians. The data shows high-income employees with college degrees are more likely to have access to this hybrid work model, while lower-income employees stay the course with on-site responsibilities and daily commutes.

At a basic level, that means low-wage workers will continue to shoulder greater risks of infection and serious illness as new covid variants sweep through job sites, alongside seasonal waves of flu and other respiratory viruses. Multiple studies have found that covid took its greatest toll in low-income neighborhoods, whose workers were deemed essential during early pandemic lockdowns — the farmworkers, grocery clerks, warehouse packers, and other service employees who continued to report to work in person.

In addition, researchers say the shift will ripple across the broader economy in ways big and small, as more employees have the flexibility to live farther from a job site and as workplace traditions like lunch outings and bar nights fade or evolve.

About 64% of California adults in households with annual incomes of $150,000 or higher said at least one household member had worked from home some portion of the week. By comparison, just 15% of California adults in households with annual incomes of less than $50,000 said a household member had worked from home at least part of the week. (File photo by Chuck Bennett, Contributing Photographer)

The U.S. Census Bureau interviewed roughly 260,000 Americans from June through October, including about 20,000 Californians, as part of a wide-ranging questionnaire called the Household Pulse Survey. Surveyors asked …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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