During President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address, American workers were once again encouraged to return to the office and move past pandemic-era restrictions.
As of January 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that 15.4% of workers 16 and older worked from home to some extent. This is a 23% decrease from the levels seen in February of 2021.
“It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again,” said President Biden. “People working from home can feel safe to begin to return to the office.”
He added that the country now has the tools and a 75% full vaccination rate that can help encourage people back into the office without fear of contracting the virus.
This sentiment is being shared across many politicians, with New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently urging workers to return back to the workspace and that working from home was hurting lower class workers. Other governors have also loosened Covid-related policies like mask wearing.
President Biden said his administration will continue to be vigilant about new variants and will look to Congress for funding so the country will “have new stockpiles of tests, masks, and pills.”
Companies have recently pivoted their policies in a way that reflects this stance, with many nixing their vaccination requirements and preparing to bring workers back into the office. However, many organizations are taking a hybrid approach to their future operations, allowing workers with more fluidity in their work schedule.