The events of 2020 and COVID-19 suddenly transitioned many workers to remote positions.
Many companies continued with that model even after they could allow their employees to return to the office.
But a lot of companies are growing tired of relying on at-home workers to get their jobs done, and many are requiring them to return to the office.
Should they be? Let’s talk about it.
2023 Remote Work Statistics
According to a recent article by CNBC:
90% of companies state they want workers to return to the office full-time by the end of 2024.
Close to 30% of these companies will threaten to fire workers who refuse to comply.
In September 2022, the average office occupancy rate was 44%.
As of September 2023, that percentage has gone up to 47.3%.
But the most shocking statistic of all is this one...
Among the 1,000 company leaders surveyed, only 2% of them said they didn’t ever plan to require their workers to come to the office again.
Google - a company you might think would be at the forefront of the work-from-home movement - is digging in its heels. The company has started incorporating the amount of time employees spend in the office into its performance reviews.
And Goldman Sachs now wants all of its workers to spend 5 days in the office per week.
What are the Benefits of Working in an Office?
Company leaders have a host of reasons why they want their staff working in-house again. Here are a few:
“We never meant for the office to just go away.”
“Without the office, workers aren’t as connected to the company or their co-workers.”
“We can’t create a strong company culture if everyone works from home all the time.”
“We think people are more productive when they work in the office.”
“The company makes more money when people actually come to work instead of working from home.”
Employees who have made the transition into working from home would often rather continue that style of work than go back to their daily commutes.
In 2020, workers were 4.4% more productive working from home, and in 2021, they were 2.2% more productive.
While employees were less productive in 2022, this year, productivity statistics are rising once again.
Can We Find a Happy Medium?
The reality is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this problem.
But a lot of experts agree that a more hybrid model is a great compromise for both sides.
68% of workers say they’d be OK with working at least one day at home and the other days of the week at the office.
Of course, not every business is set up for remote work. Retail, tech, and financial services companies are likely to completely pivot away from working from home, mostly due to privacy and security concerns.
Freelancing has also taken off in recent years, and COVID-19 most likely had a lot to do with that.
In 2017, there were a little over 57 million freelancers in the United States. In 2020, that number jumped to 64.8 million.
And this year, there are over 73 million freelancers in the U.S. alone.
Will some of those displaced workers who refuse to comply with working in the office full-time make the jump to freelancing? Only time will tell.
We Support Remote Work!
Our agency only works with freelancers, so we fully support them working from home. We don’t have any office space for them to occupy anyway.
We’ve found that when we give our contractors the freedom to work at the times that work best for them on a schedule they choose their productivity increases.
But we’re interested in what you have to say!
Do you think remote work is a thing of the past? How has your business navigated the last few years and do you anticipate any changes?
Let us know!
Our goal is your success. Let’s grow your business together!