Today, 58 percent of U.S. employees have the option to work remotely at least one day a week and 35 percent are given the opportunity to work from home five days a week. While the pandemic wasn’t good for much, it did show us that remote work is productive and efficient for many employers and satisfying and convenient for many employees. So, what is the current status of remote work in the U.S.?
Here are five data points that help paint the picture:
When employees are offered the opportunity to work from home, almost all take it. More than 40 percent of employees said they would start looking for another job or quit immediately if forced to return to the office full time. A separate study from McKinsey found that the third most popular reason for a job hunt was looking for a flexible working arrangement.
Given workers’ strong preference for remote work, it's not a surprise that employees being asked to return to the office full time start searching for a new job. In fact, some employers who are requesting that employees return to the office are increasing compensation to make up for the inconvenience. After moving to return their employees to the office full time, Goldman Sachs announced salary increases of 30 percent for new hires. However, employers take note: a study found that employees would choose working from home over a $30,000 pay raise.
Remote work has become standard in the tech industry, despite the recent calls for employees to return to the office from companies like Twitter and Snap. Most tech jobs require access to a computer and the internet and not much else. Roughly 63 percent of tech workers say they aren’t interested in a full-time return to the office.
Even industries with lower overall remote work patterns are finding that the workers they employ demand it. For example, 50 percent of workers in educational instruction and library occupations and 45 percent of healthcare practitioners report doing some remote work, which makes sense given the rise of virtual learning and telemedicine.
Video conferencing is here to stay. Given the ubiquity of remote work, video conferencing has become a part of everyday life for most employees. Video conferencing platforms like LiveSwitch Video allow employees an easy way to meet virtually while maintaining the non-verbal communication, like body language and facial expressions, that you can’t get from phone meetings.
Video conferencing has also added flexibility for students and employees who do typically engage in person. If a student becomes sick, or an employee has to stay at home to watch their kids, they can do so easily while still video conferencing into their classes and meetings.
It’s a common misconception that employees are less productive when working from home. Studies have actually shown that engagement within the workplace is the highest among workers who spend three to four days working remotely (41 percent engagement level compared to 30 percent when working in the office full time).
Companies' real estate portfolios are changing due to the increases in the number of employees who are working remotely. Overall, they’re anticipating needing less office space. Sixty percent of executives expect to consolidate office space over the next 12 months.
In summary, remote work is preferred and productive in 2022 and it’s being achieved amidst a boom in video conferencing and a reduction of office space.