Stricter return-to-office (RTO) mandates are putting a dent in remote work, as the number of households reporting someone who works remotely during the week has fallen to new lows.
More specifically, the recent Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey reveals that less than 26% of U.S. households now have someone working remotely at least one day a week, a stark contrast from the 37% peak experienced in early 2021.
This change is largely attributed to the concerted efforts of employers mandating their workforce back to the office. Influential firms like Goldman Sachs are part of the list advocating for a full five-day office week. Other companies and experts have cited concerns over diminishing profits and the economic toll on cities impacted by remote work.
The debate over remote work has been going on for months, and it’s not over. According to a report published by Fortune, nearly three-quarters of organizations identify RTO as a contentious issue among leadership.
The data reveals that the decline in remote work is not completely uniform across states, and this points to the fact that there are other factors at play — including socio-economic, gender, race, and even political affiliations, according to Fortune. States like Mississippi and Louisiana, which rely heavily on in-person industries, recorded a significant drop in remote work. However, states like California and Connecticut, which have been more open to remote work, are also witnessing a decline.
Despite the decline in remote work, the demand for flexible roles remains high. Data published by Bankrate reveals that 89% of the U.S. adult workforce supports a four-day workweek, remote operations, or a blend of both.
Some regions are reported to be leveraging this high demand-supply gap. For example, Alabama offers $10,000 to remote workers relocating to the state’s northwest Shoals area which has resulted in a rise in applications.
While there’s a clear push by many influential CEO’s towards returning to the office, the demand for remote work is still very much a topic of debate.