Remote job options are dwindling


As employers call for their employees to return to the office, the era of remote work seems to be coming to an end. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in August-September 2022, 72.5% of private-sector establishments surveyed had little to no telework, compared to just 60.1% in the same period in 2021. While 11.1% of establishments had everyone teleworking all the time, this is only slightly higher than the 10.3% share in 2021. This shift reflects companies trying to regain control and power over their workers after the Great Resignation of 2021. 

Although there are some industries where working remotely is more common, such as technology, the accommodation and food services sector, and natural resources, companies in other sectors are asking their workers to choose between coming back to the office or quitting.

According to BLS data, the information sector had a relatively high percentage of establishments where workers were working from home all the time, at 42.2%. Due to the pandemic, many workers who were previously working in offices have now shifted to working from home, and some are not willing to go back to the office. 

However, some Gen Z and early career workers have expressed a desire for in-person communication, particularly as they are entering a job market that has been affected by the pandemic. Some companies and CEOs have claimed that remote work leads to less productivity, but economists have contradicted this claim. Nevertheless, managers may not be convinced that productivity levels are maintained, leading to a return-to-office push from some firms. 

Despite this push to return to in-person work, some experts predict that remote work will continue to be popular. Workers have shown their resistance to returning to the office, and remote work has become a permanent change in the work landscape, according to Adam Ozimek, the chief economist at the Economic Innovation Group.

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