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Back to Work We Go

Remote work is declining

Time to go back to work.

As society is gradually moving away from pandemic restrictions and protective measures, companies in the United States and internationally are, some more gently than others, pushing for employees to return to offices. And while the “Great Return” is facing some pushback from workers who have grown accustomed to the perks of working from home, it is progressing relatively quickly.

According to April 2022 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey, 7.7 percent of employed persons 16 and older in the U.S. had been working at home or remotely at some point in the past 4 weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, the lowest point by far since Covid-19 hit the country in the spring of 2020.

As the following chart shows, the share of employees working from home peaked early on in the pandemic as most offices and establishment were closed to break the first wave of Covid-19 infections. From then on the share remote workers trended downwards with brief uptick coinciding with the third and fifth wave in winter 2020/21 and 2021/22.

The Great Return by Felix Richter, May 24, 2022