By Dave Carlin

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Working from home has become a way of life for countless people during the coronavirus pandemic.

It has prompted some to change cities even though they didn’t change jobs, and that has left some in a tough spot as more employers are ordering workers back to the office, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported Wednesday.

“Nobody knew how long this was going to last,” Syosset resident Gary Ragin said.

READ MORESmall Business Owners Expect Slow Economic Recovery As Work-From-Home Trend Continues

For Ragin, months of doing all his work from home are behind him. Now, every workday, the salesman for a flooring company commutes in to Midtown by train in his business attire and carrying a briefcase.

On the streets surrounding Penn Station, what a change compared to back in 2016.

“I definitely get looked at. I’m not one of the norm anymore,” Ragin said.

COVID VACCINE

“I’ve been traveling between here and Ithaca and I kind of haven’t always shared that hi,” Angela Adams added.

Adams, a social worker, bounces back and forth between upstate and downstate, a one-way journey takes more than five hours.

READ MOREDe Blasio Announces 80,000 New York City Employees Will Return To Their Offices May 3

She took a gamble it would be OK to do administrative work in Manhattan and face-to-face meetings up in Ithaca, but soon her boss may want her to choose.

“Yeah, it has been a little unnerving,” Adams said. “It’s emotionally draining.”

Michael Gardon, editor of CareerCloud, said he knows of people who secretly changed cities and are now out of easy commute range, sometimes without telling their bosses.

“Up to 30% of the country has relocated either permanently or temporarily within the last 12 months,” Gardon said.

Pandemic movers recently polled for a survey by Bankrate/YouGov gave these reasons:

  • 31% moved to be closer to family and friends
  • 27% moved for more affordable living
  • 21% relocated for a job
  • 18% say they needed more space

Employment experts say the amount of work from home we’ll be seeing will be a work in progress.

“Employers are definitely still grappling with how to bring employees back to the office safely,” Gardon said.

READ MORECOVID Unemployment: Many Over Age 50 Having Difficult Time Finding Work In Their Field

According to a just released CareerCloud survey, nationwide, fully remote jobs are expected to grow 16% by 2028.

As for the rest, expect a mix.

“So we’re looking at more of a hybrid model for most people,” Gardon said.

He said what our workdays ultimately look like will require bosses and workers to compromise.

Dave Carlin