May 26, 2024 - News

Minnesota has one of the highest work-from-home rates

Illustration of a house with a keyboard and mouse

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes and about 1 million remote workers.

Why it matters: A dense presence of high-paying, white-collar jobs has always been a boon to the local economy, but in this new era of remote and hybrid work, it's reshaping downtowns and suburban office parks.

By the numbers: One-third of the state's 3 million working people do so from home at least one day per week, and 17% primarily work from home, according to a recent article by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Zoom out: Nationwide, just over 15% of workers do so primarily from home, according to the Fed.

  • Neighboring Wisconsin (13%) South Dakota (9%) and North Dakota have lower rates than Minnesota.

State of play: While there are signs that in-office work is increasing locally and nationally, it remains a tug-of-war between employer and employee.

What they're saying: "The many senior managers that I've talked to fundamentally believe that in-person interactions are very important for collaboration and that's what's best for the business," University of Minnesota professor Myles Shaver told the Fed. "But they have to balance that if there's going to be a subsequent cost of a lot of turnover."

Between the lines: The trend is a nightmare for the owners of office towers, the banks that lent them money and the businesses that catered to those workers.

Yes, but: Businesses are already adapting to this new world. As I wrote about last week, restaurant operators are chasing remote workers in the neighborhoods and suburbs where they live.

  • Plus, Metro Transit is shifting some of its focus from commuters to those using buses and trains for errands and entertainment.
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