Fewer people are working remotely all the time—but not everyone is back in the office

Hybrid work is becoming the new norm for some workers

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A man walks past "for lease" signs on the former location of Bobby Van's Steakhouse in the financial district of New York City.
Back to the office.
Photo: Brendan Mcdermid (Reuters)

Three years into the pandemic, hybrid work has become the new norm for remote workers.

As of February 2023, of the workers with remote-friendly jobs, the share who were working a hybrid schedule was higher than those who work remotely all the time, 41% versus 35%, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center.


The fully remote crowd is shrinking: About a third of workers with jobs that can be done remotely are working from home all the time, according to Pew. That’s down from 43% in January 2022, and 55% in October 2020. Still, remote work is likely going to remain a permanent feature of the work landscape, in some form. Just 7% of the US workforce was working remotely all the time before the pandemic, Pew found.


Overall, most people in the US workforce (61%) do not have jobs that can be done remotely.

Pew also surveyed workers on what they like and dislike about working from home. For those who can work remotely, the biggest upside is that it allows them to balance work and personal life, according to Pew. Meanwhile, the biggest downside is not being able to connect with co-workers. Despite that, those who work from home all the time or occasionally are no less satisfied with their relationships with co-workers than those who never work from home.

Companies are changing their remote work policies

The covid-19 pandemic upended the office and local economies along with it. When the pandemic first hit, tech companies were some of the first to allow employees to work from home. Big tech companies have historically used perks like cafeterias and free dry cleaning to attract top talent. But now, these same companies are asking workers to come back to the office.


Several large companies have said they want their workers to come into the office more often. Apple has asked workers to be in the office at least three days a week. Amazon is also asking for three days. Disney is pushing for four days a week.

There’s a growing chorus of CEOs who say that workers aren’t as productive when working at home. For instance, Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO recently said that early analysis of performance data suggests that engineers who worked at the office at some point in their job performed better than those who joined remotely. “This requires further study,” Zuckerberg said, “but our hypothesis is that it is still easier to build trust in person and that those relationships help us work more effectively.”