How Telecommuters Are Impacting the Auto Industry

How Telecommuters Are Impacting the Auto Industry

By Swapnil Soni

The workplace has changed dramatically over the past decades from a formal work environment with standard hours to an international adept space with office workers and telecommuters, or people who work from home.

Looking at the current demographics, 3.3 million full-time professionals, excluding freelancers, self-employed individuals and volunteers, consider their home as their primary place of work.

How Telecommuting Is Shifting Things Around

With this shift, companies could reduce overhead costs by investing in software instead of infrastructure and employees could spend their time in the quality of their work instead of being graded on their office small talk, their appearance, and most importantly their transportation.

It’s the telecommuters – those who have erased the barriers of investing in products like clothes and cars and shifted investments to hotspots and computers – that have disrupted the automotive industry.

The Figures

Typical telecommuters grew up with a car. They are middle aged, have a college education and are working for small to medium-sized companies. 

But, even still, as Millennials shifted into the job market, they are also notorious for allocating their funds towards experiences rather than investing in car ownership.

Telecommuters save an estimated $1,120 on gas and $300 on car maintenance costs. Additionally, telecommuters save 260 hours by not commuting daily, which further incentivizes and perpetuates the work-from-home culture across industries.

Aspects of Telecommuting

There is a rise of telecommuting within urban areas and across industries, but there are many aspects to telecommuting. There are some industries where telecommuting is more conducive rather than others. For instance, in the construction industry, workers need to report to job sites. And, additionally, just because more workers are telecommuting does not mean they are only working from home. There are growing work spaces for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and telecommuters may need a car to meet with clients.

Questions the Automative Industry Needs to Be Asking

With the shift in the workplace and the growing notion of the sharing economy, where you borrow instead of buy, where does this leave the auto industry today? And more importantly, since cars are not used primarily to go to and from work, will their design change with their purpose?  And then, one can also wonder that in the future, with self-driving cars, will companies sponsor cars and have the drivers pick up employees to carpool? This would add to the current trends of eco-conscious consumers. The possibilities are endless.

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