The “opportunity cost” for Americans returning to in-person work after a year of remote work will result in a monetary loss of about $10,000 annually, excluding the cost of gasoline, online lending marketplace LendingTree estimated.
In the 100 largest U.S. cities, full-time workers spent almost an hour a day commuting to work, LendingTree analysts found. Workers could increase their income by $5,679 annually on average by working remotely rather than commuting to the office.
Fremont, Calif., had the highest opportunity cost with $15,065 annually as workers spent an average of 73 minutes commuting to work, the study said. Of the top 10 most costly commutes, California cities took five spots with Fremont (1), San Francisco (2), San Jose, Irvine (9) and Oakland (10).
Cities in the South and Midwest had the least expensive commutes. Tulsa, Okla., had the shortest and least costly commute at 37 minutes on average and an opportunity cost of $3,255.
Analysts surveyed 100 U.S. cities and estimated average hourly earnings with Census Bureau data and divided that number by the estimated annual hours worked by full-time employees within their cities. They multiplied average hourly earnings by total time spent commuting to find the opportunity cost of commuting, with 251 assumed working days.