- The US is looking a lot different than the height of the pandemic, and that includes remote work.
- Some occupations are seeing fewer people working from home than just a few months ago.
- The following chart shows the share of employees working from home by occupation.
Americans still want to work from home, even if it’s just part of the week. But some industries are saying it’s time to come back to the office. In other words, the end of working from your couch is nigh.
Data from Gallup updated through April 2021 show that 72% of full-time workers in white-collar jobs were working from home compared to just 14% in blue-collar jobs.
Insider looked at the jobs in which people are still working from home and found that exceptions to this trend include computer and mathematical jobs.
Jed Kolko, the chief economist at Indeed, noted on Twitter that remote work has “fallen dramatically” for education, training, and library jobs as well as community and social services jobs.
“For some sectors, [work from home] looks here to stay,” Kolko wrote on Twitter. “Others, not so much.”
As seen in the following chart, of the 11 occupations that we looked at where at least 30% of employees reported working from home because of the pandemic in May 2020, nine had shares of around 50% or higher in May 2020. This is when companies were telling some workers to work from home amid the pandemic as businesses closed in part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
However, only one of these 11 occupations had a share of 50% in June 2021, the most recent month with available data. Legal and business occupations still had a relatively high share of people working from because of the pandemic in June 2021, at 40 %.
Computer and mathematical occupations also had a high share of people working remotely because of the pandemic in May 2021, at 55.0%. Community and social services occupations had a share of 29.1% in May 2021, much lower than the share during the same month a year ago.
Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor, told Insider in an email that there are several types of jobs, including tech, where workers may be especially interested continuing remote work life.
“As COVID-19 cases decline, many employers are planning to reopen offices and are ready to welcome back employees,” Zhao said. “Workers in tech, marketing, HR, finance and others mostly working behind a computer are more likely to want a hybrid or fully remote workflow, if they wish.”
He expects, however, for the share of employees working remotely to continue to drop.
Although the share for computer and mathematical occupations didn’t drop as much as some of the other occupations, some tech workers may need to be coming back to the office soon. Some large tech companies plan to have workers come into the office at least part of the time, such as Google and Apple.
However, some Apple employees aren’t too excited about this plan. Insider’s Sarah Jackson reported that around 90% of roughly 1,700 Apple employees who answered “location-flexible working options are a very important issue to me” said they strongly agreed.
But for some in tech, being fully remote as many were over the past year may still be an option. LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence of around 8,900 US workers surveyed showed that tech workers were most likely among the industries noted to say their work is allowing them to work from home all the time. Transportation and logistics followed closely behind with 46% of workers in the industry saying this.
According to a survey of 1,000 employees, 39% said they would quit if their bosses weren’t flexible with them working from home. LinkedIn data also shows 87% of over 302,000 employees surveyed said they want to work at least part of the time from home.
“This hybrid workforce is expected to become the norm, and in today’s competitive labor market, employers would be wise to rethink mandatory reentry policies and embrace flexible, hybrid work environments going forward,” Zhao wrote in an email.