The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of work culture as we know it. Work was dominated by office culture but since the public health emergency started in 2020, more companies have opted for remote work or a hybrid work schedule, and that’s here to stay. Even though there’s a “new normal” happening and a push to go back to the office, the uncertainty and rise of variants are keeping many employees working from home.
These work changes can lead to more savings, which is a bonus in a time of high inflation. You can spend less on gas and even lower your car insurance if working from home. Here’s how the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted work schedules, changed driving habits, and how you might save on car insurance when you work from home.
How the COVID-19 pandemic changed the American workforce
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans drove to work and regularly commuted to offices and work sites. Often, drivers dealt with rush-hour traffic or long drives. In the spring of 2020, circumstances shifted, and the roads were emptier as droves of people started to work from home or lost their jobs.
By April 2020, a staggering 20.5 million people had left the workforce, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This was the steepest decline seen on record. Nearly 75% of the drop included service workers due to restaurants and bars shutting down. Though food and drinking establishments have opened back up, many places are struggling to retain or entice employees to return.
In general, there’s been what’s dubbed “The Great Resignation” — which peaked in November 2021 with 6.3 million separations from employment, according to BLS data. On top of that, millions of women left the workforce during the pandemic due to a lack of childcare and paid family leave.
Even as things return to a new standard of normal with some employees going back to the office, the Pew Research Center found that as of January 2022 59% of employees are working from home all or most of the time. This is down from 71% in October 2020.
While some may like remote work or having a hybrid work schedule, it has led to difficulties for some people, notably parents who have childcare responsibilities and workers who might be putting in longer hours and suffering from online video conference fatigue.
On the other hand, some remote work converts don’t want to go back to the office. So much so that an October 2021 Gallup survey found that 30% of employees would consider finding new employment if remote work was no longer an option.
Given these data points, it’s clear that nearly every worker has been impacted by the pandemic in some way. There’s been a shift in work culture with many employees wanting to keep a hybrid work schedule or fully remote option.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also changed driving habits
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, regular commutes and dealing with traffic were common hassles for many employees.
Metromile analysis of driving data in 2020 found that many drivers have changed how they drive, even if they recently picked up their driving. Weekday morning and evening commute-hour driving has been replaced with afternoon and weekend trips.
Other drivers are spending less time on the road, continuing trends that began in the spring of 2020 when shelter-in-place orders and public health guidelines limited driving.
You can lower car insurance working from home
The shift in work culture has led to not only time savings but cost savings with gas as well. One benefit you may not realize is that you can also lower car insurance working from home.
If you currently have a remote or hybrid work schedule, you are likely driving less often. If you’re driving less, then you should pay less for car insurance as well.
You can get car insurance that is ideal for work-from-home employees which can lead to more savings. How? By opting for pay-per-mile car insurance.
Pay-per-mile car insurance is the best car insurance if you work from home
Many drivers are currently saving money because they have pay-per-mile car insurance. Pay-per-mile auto insurance is a type of usage-based insurance, which means rates are based on how you use your car, most notably how far you drive.
Your premium can adapt to your lifestyle in almost real-time, as you pay for the miles you drive. This can give you more control of your auto insurance costs.
If you spend more time at home or your work schedule has changed, you could save with pay-per-mile auto insurance.
Drivers pay a low monthly base rate and a few cents for each mile they drive. If you don’t often drive, you could save money.
Many Americans drive fewer than 40 miles each day and are considered low-mileage drivers. Low-mileage drivers can save up to 47%* a year when they switch to Metromile, according to a 2018 survey of new customers who switched and saved.
You can see if pay-per-mile auto insurance is right for you with a free Ride Along™. Download the Metromile app, and get a free auto insurance quote. Next, you’ll drive as you typically would for about two weeks (make sure to keep your current auto insurance coverage so that you remain covered during the trial), and you’ll see how much you could save if you switch car insurance companies. You could also earn an additional discount of up to 15%** off your initial quote in select states for demonstrating safe driving during your Ride Along.
The bottom line
The pandemic has made sweeping changes in the work landscape in nearly all sectors. Some people have benefited from the changes and others have not. While everyone adjusts to the new reality, there’s one thing you can do to take back control — switch car insurance if you work from home.
Given rising costs in all sectors, changing your car insurance if you work from home may help you save money. Instead of having a flat rate for premiums, get a rate that is fair and based on the miles you drive. If you have a hybrid work schedule or are a remote worker, pay-per-mile coverage may be an ideal fit for you. You can lower car insurance working from home and have a win-win situation. Get your own free quote with Metromile today.
Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.
* Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.
***Eligible drivers can save up to 15% on their initial quote with their safe driving in Oregon.