Work From Home has Stabilized at 30%

We’ve talked a lot about the state of remote work and how it has been evolving since the start of the pandemic, but also how habits have changed permanently even though employers have dropped most pandemic-related restrictions. Let’s talk about where work from home has landed post-pandemic.

Both, working from home (WFH) and from the office (WFO) have their benefits, but we learned much more about the benefits of WFH during the pandemic than vice versa. If we look at the statistics from the from their June 2022 WFH Survey, employees listed not commuting as the top benefit of WFH, followed by flexible schedule and less time getting ready for work:

Chart - Top benefits of working from home


The top benefit of WFO is face-to-face collaboration, followed by socializing and work/personal life balance:

Chart - Top benefits of working from office


I don’t find any of these surprising, but by looking at the data and also our personal anecdotal experiences, it looks like in the future most employers are going to offer a hybrid work environment. The balance between WFH vs. WFO days will have to do with the job function, job-market competitiveness, but also each company’s leadership philosophy. has been tracking very diligently with extensive surveys and data compilation the average WFH days since the beginning of the pandemic. They do monthly surveys and publish a summary of their research but also the whole data set for anyone to download and analyze. By looking at the results of their January 2023 survey, we see a stabilization of around 30% of WFH days.

Chart - Percentage of paid full days worked from home


The question many of us have is whether that is going to stay at 30% or if it’s going to drop further to pre pandemic levels. In the same survey, they try to answer that question by comparing how online shopping has changed during and after the pandemic. 

Retail spending online saw a sharp increase as lock downs started in March 2020, but the important observation is that as of last month, the trend is back to its pre-pandemic levels as shown here:

Share of retail spending online


That demonstrates that the online shopping behavior, which was also heavily affected by the pandemic, by January 2023 returned to its pre-pandemic trends. However, the equivalent graph for WFH days shows that we have a 20% above-trend stabilization:

Share of days worked form home


This analysis is not an exact science but has to do with human behavior as well as business decisions from employers as well as employees. Nonetheless, it’s a strong indication that shows that although theoretically WFH could have been at around 5% in January 2023 after pandemic restrictions had been removed, it is staying at a level equivalent to the 40 years of pre-pandemic.

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