Return to Work Statistics

Return to Work Statistics (2023)

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work. Even as many people have returned or are returning to the office, many people are still working from home and will be working remotely for the foreseeable future.

To find out how people have returned to the office, we have gathered a list of some of the most interesting facts and trends. Let’s take a look at the numbers that tell the story of how many people have returned to work and what their thoughts are on it.

49% of employees have returned to the office full-time

Almost half the employees returned to work full-time at their offices in 2022. Research shows that just 49% of the employees, whose employers have told them to come back, are showing up at the office for the full five days of the week.

Returning to the office is not the most popular prospect among employees. In fact, 68% of Americans prefer working from home, and 97% say they prefer remote or hybrid work.

This is making it harder for employers to justify making their workers return to work.

(Source: QZ)

68% of employers say workers should come to the office at least three days a week

Employers say that workers need to return to the office for the sake of company culture. About 18% of employers say they prefer their employees to come to the office four days a week, and 21% said they want their employees to come five days a week.

Employees who want to return to the office say they do so because of socialization.

Some research studies have revealed that no matter how productive a worker is when working from home, sharing advice and contacts in person remains invaluable. In addition, it can negatively impact promotions as well.

(Source: PWC, BBC)

61% of employees prefer a hybrid model

The most popular option among most employees is the hybrid working model with 61% of employees saying they prefer it. Out of these employees, 67% say they want to work at the office between 10% and 60% of the time.

(Source: Whitaker Institute)

Only about 3% of employees want to return to the office five days a week

Only about 3% of people want to work full-time at the office. Approximately, 86% of workers want to work remotely at least two days a week, no matter what age they are. Most of these employees communicated that they would like to come to work on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, leaving offices on Mondays and Fridays quite empty.

(Source: Advanced Workplace)

Only 20% of employees were working entirely at the office in 2022

Approximately, 8 in 10 people were found to have a remote or hybrid work model, while only two out of 10 people were working on site.

Another study also found that it is expected that the hybrid model will grow to 81% by the year 2024. In addition, 48% of companies are keeping some form of hybrid or remote work policy for their workers.

In response to how they will operate in the post-pandemic age, 26% of people said their companies would follow the path of the hybrid model while 22% said they would follow the remote working model.

As such, many employers have realized that being at the office physically is not necessary to get good performance.

(Gallup, AT&T, FlexJobs)

48% of adults will look for a remote work position for their next job

Out of the 1,700 employees surveyed, 48% of them said they would look for a job that affords them work at home. In fact, jobs that offer remote or hybrid work options get seven times as many applications as jobs that demand full-time, on-site work.

In addition, employees would consider staying at their full-time office work if they get an annual raise of 20% for 30 minutes of commute, 15% for 15 minutes of commute or 10% for a hybrid job with 30 minutes of commute to the workplace.

(Source: SHRM)

87% of workers, who are offered remote work options, take it

Despite entering into the post-pandemic era, most of the employees who are given the option to choose between working from home or coming to the office, will prefer to work remotely. Most of these workers prefer to work three days of the week from home while working from the office the rest of the week.

(Source: McKinsey & Co)

49% of employees are working remotely full-time

According to research, approximately 49% of all employees are working fully remotely around the world. About 23% of employees are remote first, while 16% come to the office occasionally.

Meanwhile, 11% of employees are office first with the option for remote working available.

Remote working options differ from industry to industry, with computer and mathematical jobs enjoying this flexibility the most.

On the other hand, industries like farming, fishing, production, forestry, and production do not offer a lot of remote working options.

(Source: Buffer)

61% of current remote workers want to switch to a hybrid working model

Most of the people who are working remotely currently plan to transition to a hybrid work model. On the other hand, 27% preferred to work remotely and only 9% said they would like to return to the office.

According to a survey, 61% said they prefer working remotely because they do not want to return to an office environment. About 38% of employees said their physical office has shut down its doors.

This phenomenon is quite a reversal from October 2020, when about 64% of people were working remotely because their office was closed and about 36% of people were doing so because they wanted to work from home.

(Source: PWC)

38% of workers want full autonomy over when they should come to the workplace

A large percentage of employees want to choose when they want to come into the office rather than have a schedule given by their employer. Most employees believe this gives them the most flexibility and lets them maintain the same autonomy as when they were working fully remotely.

(Source: Zippia)

77% of the Fortune 100 companies are operated under a hybrid working model

Some Fortune 100 companies working under the hybrid working model are Walmart, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Exxon Mobil, AT&T, Cardinal Health, Microsoft, Kroger, JP Morgan Chase, Verizon, Ford Motors, and Dell Technologies are working under a hybrid work model. On the other hand, like the Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Tesla, have an office-first work policy.

(Source: Build Remote)

Many Fortune 100 companies are making employees come to work for two or three days every week

Walmart and CVS Health want their employees to come to the office at least two days a week. On the other hand, Amazon, Apple, UnitedHealth Group, Alphabet, General Motors, Comcast, Chevron, Bank of America, Citigroup, and the United Parcel Service are among some of the services that are asking employees to come to the office three days a week.

(Source: Build Remote)

34% of Fortune 100 companies returned to the office  in 2022

In 2022, approximately 34% of all Fortune 100 companies requested their employees to return to the office. This number is twice as much as the previous year, during which only 17% of the companies demanded a return to the office.

(Source: Build Remote)

11% of Fortune 100 companies have shut down some of their offices

Some Fortune 100 companies are downsizing or outright reducing their office footprints. These include Intel, Amazon, Geico, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Oracle, Target, AT&T, State Farm, Nationwide, and Liberty Mutual Insurance Group.

(Source: Build Remote)

54% of hybrid or remote workers would consider finding a new job if their employers demanded full-time return to the office

Over half of the employees say that they would start looking for a new job if their employers asked them to start coming into the office. This is due to the increased flexibility found in the work-at-home model. About 32% of hybrid employees want to stay with their current job since it offers them the flexibility of working from home. Additionally, 28% of these workers said scheduling flexibility is the reason they prefer to remain in a job that offers a hybrid work model.

In fact, many employees believe that the flexibility of working is almost as important as pay.

In addition, about 31% of employees did not know how to respond while 11% said they would agree to come to the office.

(Source: Hubspot)

On-site workers have decreased by 38% since 2019

According to Gallup, about 60% of the surveyed employees worked exclusively on site in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. This is in comparison to only 22% of employees who worked full-time at the office in 2022.

The number of workers who were working full-time from home went up to 38% in early 2022 from only 8% during the pre-pandemic era. The number dropped to 29% by the middle of 2022.

This shows that employees were returning to the office gradually, despite the fact that the number of workers who wanted to work from home increased by 24% between 2021 and 2022.

(Source: Gallup)

49% of office-first organizations were impacted by the Great Resignation of 2021

According to an Upwork survey of over 1000 hiring managers, about 43% of businesses say they suffered a blow in 2021, when their workers started quitting jobs due to low wages and various other job-related issues. Almost 52% of the office-first and remote-by-day companies reported they were also negatively impacted by the Great Resignation, in comparison to 31% of remote-first organizations.

As such, about 37% of these companies are now short of staff and are facing acute difficulty in finding talent. Hence, they are now resorting to offering candidates higher wages, remote working opportunities, and flexible schedules.

(Source: Upwork)

46% of remote workers are concerned about less flexibility when returning to the office

According to a survey by FlexJobs, employees experience several concerns when faced with the prospect of coming into work at the physical office.

About 43% of employees are worried they would not be able to enjoy any more flexible hours when coming to work and how it would impact their work-life balance. Additionally, 34% are worried about office politics and that they will be distracted at work. About 27% of workers are worried about the change in their daily routine, while 26% worry about being far away from their families and pets. About 15% of workers are also worried about their childcare responsibilities.

(Source: FlexJobs)

Bottom Line

These statistics reveal that most employees want to work remotely at least some of the time. Most employees are also willing to come to work once or twice a week, provided they get full autonomy in selecting the days and are assured of continued flexibility.

Although most employers are worried about productivity, they are also more willing to offer flexible working locations and hours to their employees in order to retain their employees.

Some concerns that remote workers face are fitting in with the office staff, office politics, and their career growth.

Employers who want to bring back employees to work need to improve these areas to ensure they do not lose their talent.

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