Report Return to office is ‘dead,’ Stanford economist says.


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The share of workers being called back to the office has flatlined, suggesting the pandemic-era phenomenon of widespread remote work has become a permanent fixture of the U.S. labor market, economists said.

“Return to the office is dead,” Nick Bloom, an economics professor at Stanford University and expert on the work-from-home revolution, wrote this week.

In May 2020 — the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic — 61.5% of paid, full workdays were from home, according to the Survey of Working Arrangements and Attitudes. That share fell by about half through 2022 as companies called employees back to in-person work.

However, the story has changed in 2023.

The share of paid work-from-home days has been “totally flat” this year, hovering around 28%, said Bloom in an interview with CNBC. That’s still four times greater than the 7% pre-pandemic level. The U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey shows a similar trend, he said.

This is opening up the opportunity for people to hold multiple jobs at a time. Something that I believe is already happening.
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