TRENTON — Nearly a year into New Jersey’s forced experiment with widespread remote work from home, the Legislature is considering a study into how it has gone.

The Senate Labor Committee endorsed a bill creating an 11-member Remote Work Study Commission. It would be tasked with evaluating whether the advantages of remote work exceed its disadvantages, whether remote work has positive effects on the productivity of workers and the effect that the coronavirus 2019 pandemic has had on remote work.

Michael Egenton, executive vice president of government relations for the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the proposed study. The chamber would have a spot on the panel.

“This is a new world that we’re in, in remote communication and not going into their physical place of work, and obviously a lot of our employers are going to reevaluate that, whether they need the full contingent of their employees at their place of work,” Egenton said.

“There have been, again, advantages and disadvantages of doing remote work from home, and obviously the timeliness of this commission is certainly welcome,” he said.

The commission would consist of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo, two senators, two Assembly members and six public members appointed by the legislative leaders.

The public members would include representatives from the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, New Jersey Commerce and Industry Association and New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, two experts in issues of remote work and a person who performs professional, desk, managerial or administrative work.

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The commission would have a year from the date of its first meeting to issue a final report.

An identical bill was introduced in the Assembly last July but hasn’t yet gotten a hearing.

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at michael.symons@townsquaremedia.com.

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