Work-from-Home Declining As Americans Are Called Back to Office

New York, NY, March 27, 2023-Working remotely is becoming increasingly rare a few years after the pandemic caused millions of Americans to decamp from worksites to their basements and bedrooms, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“Some 72.5% of business establishments said their employees teleworked rarely or not at all last year, according to a Labor Department report released this week. That figure climbed from 60.1% in 2021. The survey showed about 21 million more workers on-site full time in 2022, compared with the prior year. An establishment is defined as each business location-such as an individual restaurant in a chain.

“The new number is also close to the share of establishments-76.7%-that said they had no employees teleworking before the Covid-19 pandemic, and that were open in February 2020, the Labor Department said. Employers recently have begun pushing harder to get staff to work on-site more often, as recession fears prompt an increased emphasis on worker productivity.

“‘There’s a sense that innovation, creativity and collaboration can suffer when teams are apart,’ said Mike Steinitz, senior executive director at Robert Half. A survey by the global recruitment firm found that 92% of managers prefer their teams to work on-site.

“‘They believe employees are simply more productive in the office,’ he said. ‘They also feel that it’s important for mentoring and training both new and existing employees.’

“Several large companies have said they expect their employees to report in person, more often. Walt Disney Co. now pushes for four days a week on-site. Starbucks Corp. has asked office staff to come in more. This month, Meta Platforms Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg told employees at the Facebook parent that in-person time helps build relationships and get more done.

“‘Our hypothesis is that it is still easier to build trust in person and that those relationships help us work more effectively,’ he wrote in a letter to employees.”