Employers Giving Workers Remote Days They Want

A recently published Reuters news article states that more than two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. workers are getting closer to getting the remote-work arrangements they want.

In late 2020, the gap between how many work-from-home days workers wanted and how many remote days hybrid employers were planning was 1.38 days, according to a monthly online survey from WFH Research, a project that has tracked workplace attitudes and worker arrangements each month since May 2020. By June 2022, that gap had narrowed to 0.44 days.

Reuters reported the difference largely has disappeared because employers are offering more remote days to their employees. The average number of days per week employees are invited to work from home has risen from 1.58 days per week in January 2021 to 2.37 days per week in June 2022.

The narrowing gap signals the U.S. labor market remains tight, with workers feeling confident in making demands of their employers.

Companies continue to experiment with work-from-home patterns, according to economist Nicholas Bloom, who helped conduct the WFH Research. Employers that increased the number of remote days did so out of concern for worker productivity and retention, he said.

Some employees, however, believe there are too many remote days. For instance, Bloom said many younger workers want to work from home no more than two or three days each week, perhaps because unlike their older counterparts, younger employees have yet to build up their social and professional networks.

The increased embrace — or tolerance — of remote work also comes as a potential recession looms. Slashing office spending is one way for employers to cut costs, Reuters reported. But a recession typically brings about layoffs and higher unemployment, so management may gain the upper hand.