Remote Work in 2023 and Beyond

Mandy Rice
Published Feb 9, 2024

Three years ago, remote work took center stage. To face the challenges of COVID-19, employers and employees transitioned to working remotely. This is a trend that has continued into 2023.

Ten years ago, remote work was not common. The option to work from home was usually offered only in special circumstances. Now, remote work has been accepted and embraced.

However, remote work has also recently leveled off from the previous highs of 2020 to 2021. Remote work will continue but will be blended with other work options.

The Growth of Remote Work

The major shift to remote work came with the onset of COVID-19 in March 2023. Companies and workers had to quickly adjust to work-from-home arrangements. It is somewhat surprising that this trend has continued into this year.

The reason is that remote work used to have an unfavorable reputation, especially from employer perspectives. Remote work was equated with not fully working and being less productive. That thinking changed dramatically with COVID.

In 2019, only about 5% of full-time work was performed at home. By April 2020, 60% of full-time work was done remotely. Employers and employees were forced to adapt and change their ways of thinking.

Even as the impact of COVID has subsided, companies have increasingly adopted work-from-home policies. Employers tend to invest in remote teams and technologies to allow work-from-home and flexible work situations to continue.

Although the share of remote work has declined to about 27% today, that is still more than five times higher than in 2019.

The Advantages of Remote Work

In 2023, many employees can opt to work remotely at least one day per week. Those employees who do work remotely express higher levels of job satisfaction.

Remote workers are also more productive, upending traditional thinking. On average, studies have indicated employees working at home in 2021 were 47% more productive.

The reasons for higher employee productivity include fewer distractions from office conversations and politics, reduced or eliminated commutes, and better work-to-life balance. Employees have indicated that they are more engaged with their jobs compared with in-office arrangements.

Recent studies have also shown that employees find career growth easier with remote work in 2023. The main reason is that employees are assessed by their productivity instead of time in the office. The number of workers who thought career growth was more difficult because of remote work also decreased in comparison to 2022.

Employees have also become accustomed to remote work arrangements and feel psychological pressure when forced to return to in-person work environments. For example, employees at Starbucks and Amazon recently expressed their disapproval of tighter return-to-office policies.

Employers likewise gain from at-home and remote work by lowering expenses on office space. Companies can also recruit from larger geographic areas and may opt to raise wages at a slower rate because of employee appreciation of work-from-home arrangements.

Remote Work in the Future

As COVID’s impact has diminished, remote work has declined. The portion of full-time remote work is predicted to level at about 25%. Yet, this is still much higher than in the past and remote will continue along with two other work situations.

While companies will continue with remote work, hybrid work policies have become more common. Like at-home work, hybrid work situations have reflected positive results.

Many employers appreciate having workers back in the office for face-to-face meetings. Employees tend to like in-person interactions as well, balanced with productive time at home.

Companies are also proceeding with back-to-office policies and this will become a larger part of the employment picture. Yet, strict at-work policies have faced resistance from employees who have previously experienced the benefits of working from home. Employers are leery of job retention if they push too hard.

Generational factors also make remote and hybrid work options a priority. Most Millennial workers express a desire to work remotely. Since this generation is the largest portion of the workforce, companies will need to accommodate their preferences.

Overall, almost 90% of workers who are considering a job change prefer fully remote or hybrid positions. As a middle ground between employer and employees, hybrid work situations are poised to take center stage by the end of 2023 and beyond. Fully remote work will continue, but hybrid options tend to satisfy employers and employees just as much or more.

To learn more about remote work in 2023 and beyond, visit FreshGigsClub. Remote and hybrid work represent the future.

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