The most recent Census survey reported 34 million Americans working fully remote, and more than 4 in 10 workers nationwide working remotely at least one day per week. To put this on a scale most of us will understand, there are now more households with a remote worker than there were Baby Boomer families.

We are in the early stages of the largest shock to household migration in the nation’s history. For parts of Indiana this is an economic opportunity greater than anything in our state’s history, far bigger than the Industrial Revolution. For other parts of Indiana, the remote work revolution will be an economic calamity, worse than the loss of factory jobs in the 20th century. The proliferation of remote work and its different impacts warrant a thorough and immediate policy discussion.

Michael J. Hicks, PhD, is the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research and the George and Frances Ball distinguished professor of economics in the Miller College of Business at Ball State University. His column appears in Indiana newspapers.

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