The “Return to Office” movement might be hitting a dead end, according to Stanford economist Nick Bloom. Despite efforts by companies like IBM, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Meta to bring employees back to the office, the trend towards working from home (WFH) seems to have stabilized. Bloom’s research, along with data from the US Census Household Pulse Survey and commercial property services firm Kastle, indicates a flatlined trend in office occupancy since 2023. Interestingly, about 42 per cent of companies have reportedly lost more employees than expected following strict office mandates.
As of mid-2023, 28 per cent of full workdays among Americans aged 20-64 were done from home, a significant increase from pre-pandemic levels. The paper “The Evolution of Work from Home” by Bloom and colleagues suggests that remote work offers benefits for both employers and employees, including access to a broader talent pool, reduced turnover, and potentially lower wages due to labour supply effects. This raises questions about the real motives behind the push for office returns, especially when remote work seems to offer several advantages.
Sources include: The Register