The honeymoon with remote work isn’t over just yet, with a new report revealing that nearly 30% of all US jobs are still done from home.
This news may be surprising to some that have noticed big tech firms and other businesses trying to get employees back into the office, despite the telecommuting statistics showing how good remote work has been for businesses and employees alike.
Fortunately, while numbers are down from the height of the pandemic, this new research shows that some businesses are taking this paradigm shift to heart in service of better work-life balance for their employees.
Nearly 30% of US Jobs Are Still Remote
According to a new study from WFH Research, a little less than 30% of all jobs in the US remain remote. Granted, this is down from 61% at the height of the pandemic but is still decidedly higher than 4% of jobs that were remote before the pandemic in 2019. And the impact this shift has had on society is nothing if not substantial.
“It’s affected so many things. It’s affected city structure… It’s affecting retail. It’s completely skewed — mostly in a positive way — the American economy.” – Nicholas Bloom, Stanford University economist and WFH researcher
The study specifically analyzed the effect of work from home policies on city life, as well, measuring the number of empty desks in metropolitan hubs. In Chicago, for instance, 49% of office space remains empty, with Washington DC, Los Angeles, and New York boasting more than half of all office space remaining unused.
Should My Business Keep Its Remote Work Policy?
With the market beginning to stabilize since the chaotic times of the pandemic, many businesses are deciding whether or not to return to the office full time. Fortunately, there’s plenty of data out there that should be able to inform your decision in a meaningful way.
For starters, if you want to attract top talent, statistics show that forcing your employees back into the office is not the way to go. 97% of employees state that they do not want to return to the office full time, and 51% of them say they would quit on the spot if asked to give up their hybrid working model. So, unless you want to deal with a wave of quiet quitting at your business, working from home should stay on the menu.
On top of that, studies have shown that remote work doesn’t have the negative impact on productivity that many managers think it does. In fact, studies found that businesses offering a hybrid work model see a 22% performance boost, with 55% of employees noting that they work more when working from home.
Simply put, there’s no data to back up the return to the office movement, beyond filling empty offices and partaking in weak company culture. But if you really want to drive away your top employees and deteriorate your worker’s mental health to the point of burnout, we’re not going to stop you.
If you want to leave your company that is forcing you back to the office, we don't blame you. Check out our guide to businesses that offer remote or hybrid work models here to start your search.