Remote Work Declining As More People Return To The Office

By Bill Galluccio

May 13, 2022

Female architect on the phone with client
Photo: Getty Images

The percentage of people who continue to work from home continues to decline. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 7.7% of Americans worked remotely in April because of the coronavirus pandemic, down from 10% in March.

The percentage of people working remotely because of the pandemic peaked at 35% in May 2020, when most of the country was shut down.

The agency noted that the number of people unable to work because of the pandemic dropped from 2.5 million in March to 1.7 million in April.

The BLS noted that education level played a significant role in whether an employee can work from home. According to NBC News, a person who has at least a bachelor's degree is five times more likely to work from home than somebody without a college degree.

Many companies are trying to find a balance between in-office and remote work. Many employees do not want to return to the office, while their employers want them back behind their desks. Several companies are testing out a partial return to the office, with employees splitting time between working remotely and in the office.

The return of office employees could help bring economic activity back to cities, which have seen empty office buildings for the past two years.

"Activity in central business districts will pick up – dining, takeout, services and retail sales to workers there, janitorial and guard services, et cetera," Erica Groshen, senior economics adviser at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, told US News. "By how much, we don't know."

"Commuting and traffic will pick up," Groshen added. "Will people return to public transportation as much as before?"

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