Study: Bosses Are Prepared to Let You Spend Half the Week at Home

A new survey shows that WFH trends have plateaued and older workers spend more time in the office than under 30s.

Two is the magic number when it comes remote work, according to a new survey produced to investigate current working habits in the US.

In data gathered by the WFH Research’s Survey of Working Arrangements and Attitudes, 2.2 days per week is the average number that workers who are able to work from home say their employers plan to let them work remotely over the next year.

That figure is down slightly from a number closer to 2.4 days in June 2022, but suggests there remains a commitment to hybrid working since the explosion of pandemic-era remote working.

The survey also reveals that the sweet spot for workers themselves would be an average of around 2.8 days per week at home – just over half a day longer than their employers have planned.

Remote Working Holds Steady

The survey – which has comprised more than 200,000 responses since May 2020 from US residents who are aged 20-64 and able to work from home – accords with previous studies that show a reluctance for employees to return full-time to the office.

That’s notwithstanding the number of high profile companies who have cracked down on working from home. Many big tech companies revoked their WFH policies over the last few years, with video game publisher Rockstar the most recent to enforce a return to the office five days a week – albeit to complete production of Grand Theft Auto VI.

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The likes of Amazon and Meta have reverted to a three days in the office model, with Disney and KPMG at four. While perhaps the most visible critic of remote working is Elon Musk, with staff at Tesla and X all being made to return to the office full time.

Despite that, the survey found that the ‘Information’ sector was the one currently least likely to have staff fully on site, with only 31% of respondents saying that they were in the office full time. 23% said that they are fully WFH, second only to the 26% of people in “Professional and Business Services.”

Younger Workers Are in the Office Less

Other results of the survey showed that 27% of all paid working days in the US in May 2024 were carried out from home. And 41.1% of workers who can work at home now do so on a hybrid basis, compared to 38.8% fully on site and 20.3% exclusively WFH.

It also looked at the working habits of employees in different age brackets. It found that respondents in the 50-64 category are 11% more likely to work fully on site than those aged 20-29, with 68.2% of those 50 and above permanently in the office.

On the other side of the spectrum, 42.8% of 20-29-year-olds work either on a hybrid basis or fully remote.

Those statistics make a lot of sense considering that many of the respondents aged 20-29 will have only come into the workforce either during or in the years immediately following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Written by:
Now a freelance writer, Adam is a journalist with over 10 years experience – getting his start at UK consumer publication Which?, before working across titles such as TechRadar, Tom's Guide and What Hi-Fi with Future Plc. From VPNs and antivirus software to cricket and film, investigations and research to reviews and how-to guides; Adam brings a vast array of experience and interests to his writing.
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