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“The NABE firms seem to have more remote-working, likely due to the fact that more of these firms are in white collar industries where remote working is easier,” the researchers wrote. The pattern in the following figure is for these individuals who WFH every day before, during, and after the pandemic (see Table 9 for details of the acronyms used in Fig. 2). The individuals voluntarily chose to WFH every day before the pandemic, and the change that comes with the outbreak does not pose an impact on their WFH choices. Apart from patterns shown in C1, C3 states another pattern for the individuals who are unwilling to WFH after the pandemic. This cluster illustrates that some individuals consistently worked onsite before and during the COVID-19 pandemic every day, and they anticipate working onsite every day after the pandemic. Some 36% say they would feel at least somewhat comfortable working at their workplace if it were to reopen in the month following the survey.

  • In the United States, the proportion of employees who primarily work from home has steadily increased over the past few decades (Bloom et al., 2015).
  • Today, a preference for working from home is driving these decisions rather than concerns about the coronavirus.
  • About seven-in-ten say they have about as much job security (70%) and flexibility to choose when they put in their hours (68%) as they did pre-pandemic.7 Still, some workers have noted a change in the way things are going for them at work.
  • Remote work may also put a dent in business travel as its extensive use of videoconferencing during the pandemic has ushered in a new acceptance of virtual meetings and other aspects of work.

Still, those with higher levels of educational attainment and upper incomes are the most likely to say they are working from home all of the time. About six-in-ten workers with a bachelor’s degree or more education who say they are able to do their job from home (58%) say they are working from home all of the time, compared with 51% of those with less education. And while most remote work statistics of those with upper incomes (65%) say they are currently working from home all of the time, 52% of those with middle incomes and 46% of those with lower incomes say the same. Amid the coronavirus outbreak, a majority of employed adults who say that the responsibilities of their job can be mostly done from home (55%) say they are currently working from home all of the time.

Table 3

Today, a preference for working from home is driving these decisions rather than concerns about the coronavirus. Fully 76% of workers who indicate that their workplace is available to them say a major reason why they are currently teleworking all or most of the time is that they prefer working from home. An additional 17% say this is a minor reason why they are working from home, and 7% say this is not a reason. The share citing this as a major reason is up significantly from 60% in 2020. A plurality (44%) of all employed adults who are currently working from home all or most of the time say this is because they are choosing not to go into their workplace. About three-in-ten (28%) say their workplace is currently closed or unavailable to them, and a similar share (27%) say they don’t have a workplace outside of their home.

To learn more about what employees want after nearly two years of remote and hybrid work, we asked 2,050 U.S. full-time workers about their experience. We aimed to understand where, when, and how they perform best, what is serving them well, what needs to change, and what is important to them for the future of work – our fifth annual State of Remote Work Report covers it all. Contrary to expectations, workers whose jobs were more conducive to remote work on average did not report comparatively higher gains in productivity as a result of the transition to working outside the office, says Luca. Those findings, the researchers believe, reflect conditions surrounding the pandemic that have made childcare unavailable for many professionals and have added other stressors. Among employed adults who are not working from home all of the time and are interacting in-person at least some with others at their workplace, concerns about coronavirus differ by gender, race and ethnicity. Women (60%) are more likely than men (48%) to be at least somewhat concerned about being exposed to the virus.

1. Dataset overview

Companies could provide support and incentives to encourage these individuals to WFH more often when needed. Besides the actions taken by employers and companies to reduce the contacts, governments and authorities could also develop measures to incentivize companies and employees to WFH when needed based on the WFH patterns presented in the results section. For example, for these employees who strongly oppose WFH due to the drop in their productivity caused by their unfamiliarity with the WFH working style, the government could also offer free training and education on WFH-related issues (Emanuel and Harrington, 2021).

More than half of employed adults who say that their job responsibilities can mostly be done from home (54%) say that, if they had a choice, they’d want to work from home all or most of the time when the coronavirus outbreak is over. A third say they’d want to work from home some of the time, while just 11% say they’d want to do this rarely or never. Some 46% of those who rarely or never teleworked before the coronavirus outbreak say they’d want to work from home all or most of the time when the pandemic is over. Younger teleworkers (ages 18 to 49) who use these platforms often are more likely than their older counterparts to say they feel worn out by the amount of time they spend on video calls (40% vs. 31%). Feeling worn out is also more prevalent among those with a bachelor’s degree or higher (41%) than among those with less education (27%).

3. Descriptive statistics

Working remotely has become a mantra for the younger generation in recent years due to the increased flexibility that it offers. When the COVID-19 pandemic started to spread throughout the world, many agencies shifted towards work from home (WFH) policies due to widespread lockdowns and the necessity of decreasing the spread of the virus. This new work culture has created a cultural paradigm shift for both workers and employers. Due to the continuation of WFH for over a year, this new work culture has impacted many issues, such as commuting patterns, congestion, safe travels, motorized trips, and emissions. Many employees started to get accustomed to WFH and will prefer to continue WFH even as pandemic-related restrictions relax.

remote work statistics before and after covid

For example, Gallup’s State of the American Workforce Report, found that 43% of employees spent “at least some of their time” working remotely in 2016, up from 39% in 2012. Gallup’s June 2022 poll found 70 million or 56% of fulltime employees said they can do their job remotely. Of those, three in ten (21 million) currently worked exclusively at home, down from four in ten in February 2022, while another five in ten (35 million) worked at home part of the time. And that way, there’s not this hybrid split-brain problem of uncertainty, anxiety, forced fun.

3. C3 –Strongly oppose WFH due to their distrust in COVID-19 spreading

“ Responses documented the rise in remote work, followed by a decline and levelling off above pre-pandemic levels (second Figure below). In the United States, as agriculture contracted and factories and offices expanded, paid work in the home did dwindle over time. This trend began to reverse in the 1980s with the increasing application of information technology to many types of service work. The spatial separation of workplace and residence, fueled by the Industrial Revolution and reinforced by zoning codes, has never been complete.

  • The abrupt closure of many offices and workplaces this past spring ushered in a new era of remote work for millions of employed Americans and may portend a significant shift in the way a large segment of the workforce operates in the future.
  • Among four-year college graduates who are working from home all or most of the time, 64% say they often use video calling or online conferencing.
  • The survey shows that they believe the media exaggerates the spread of the COVID-19 virus and that non-pharmaceutical countermeasures (i.e., staying at home when possible and face-coverings) should not be mandatory.
  • After COVID, 57% of the participants predicted that they will WFH at least one day a week, and 11% of participants predict that they will WFH every day.
  • Two ways businesses historically have controlled cost and mitigated uncertainty during recessions are by adopting automation and redesigning work processes, which reduce the share of jobs involving mainly routine tasks.