Finding fully remote work is getting challenging. New research from Indeed found that job postings are declining faster in metropolitan areas where many jobs can be done remotely.
“Some of the pushback remote work is driven by concerns about productivity,” said Kory Kantenga, senior economist at LinkedIn. “There have been some experimental studies that show that there are some productivity impacts, potentially from remote work. But those studies are also experiments, right? It’s unclear how they apply to the broader labor force.”
During the pandemic, remote work became the darling of the corporate world, and companies going fully remote became the new normal. The U.S. Census Bureau found that the number of people working primarily from home tripled from 2019 to 2021.
“Remote work was thrust upon us basically by the pandemic,” said Nicholas Bloom, professor of economics at Stanford University. “Before the pandemic, remote work was pretty rare. All managers and professionals were basically fully remote for much of 2020. And then it turned out it’s worked really well.”
As the world began to open up, though, corporate America shifted its stance on remote work. Some companies have even threatened to fire workers who don’t return to the office for a certain number of days.
“The laptop class is living in la la land,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk told CNBC’s David Faber in a sit-down interview in May 2023. “It’s messed up to assume they have to go to work, but you don’t. It’s not just a productivity issue. It’s morally wrong.”
Watch the video above to learn why corporate America is pushing against remote work, how remote workers feel about the pushback, and what this workplace trend tells us about the U.S. job market.
0:00 – Intro
2:01 – Remote work and pandemic
2:53 – Remote work and productivity
5:21 – Return to office
7:02 – The real estate problem
9:37 – What’s next?
Produced and Edited by: Anuz Thapa
Animation: Alex Wood
Narration by: Jordan Smith
Supervising Producer: Jeff Morganteen
Additional Footage: Getty Images
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Is The Golden Age Of Remote Work Over?