Remote Work Predicted to Reach 25% by 2023, Study Reveals

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Remote Work Predicted to Reach 25% by 2023, Study Reveals

The landscape of remote work has undergone a seismic shift over the past three years. However, it’s worth remembering that the concept of working outside the office isn’t new; it has been evolving since the 1960s. A recent whitepaper from the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, titled The Evolution of Working from Home, challenges the idea that remote work is on the decline. Authored by Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, and Steven J. Davis, the paper presents data suggesting that remote work will continue to grow with technological advancements, as it has in past decades.

In the 1960s, most Americans who worked from home were involved in agriculture or craft-based professions. Remote work accounted for about 0.4% of work time in 1965. This figure rose to 0.6% by 1985, and by the 1990s, remote work started to permeate the white-collar sector. Despite this, it was somewhat restricted due to the limitations of telecommunication technology at the time. Working remotely often meant physically transporting or sending documents between home and office, note the authors. However, despite these hurdles, the proportion of people working remotely continued to grow steadily. According to the report, work-from-home rates have “doubled approximately every 15 years since the 1960s.”

By 2016, about 4% of U.S. workers reported working remotely and the amount of time employees spent working from home occasionally also increased. In 2019, approximately 5% of work time was spent at home, a figure that skyrocketed to about 25% by 2023. Despite this growth, 60% of Americans are still required to work in person, a trend largely dictated by education levels. The report states that “the most significant predictor of whether someone gets to work from home is education, with college graduates doing more than twice as much as workers who only have a high school degree.”

As technology continues to advance, researchers predict “work-friendly innovations” will catalyse a new wave of remote work adoption in the coming two decades. During this period, workers are expected to spend between 30% and 40% of their weeks working from home. The COVID-19 pandemic has already demonstrated this trend by sparking “a surge in research and development into new hardware and software products to support working from home,” according to the report.

For those in the white-collar industry considering whether to buy a standing desk in Australia or invest in an electric height adjustable standing desk, it might be time to make the leap. The best sit stand desk can offer health benefits of electric stand up desks and contribute to a more comfortable remote work environment.

The debate about working from home will continue, but if history is any indication, it’s not going anywhere. Rather than getting caught up in the debate, it might be more productive to focus on refining remote or hybrid work policies because remote work is here to stay.

In future trends, we may see more roles such as chief wellness officers being created as companies recognise the need to support employees’ mental health amidst concerns about burnout and widespread mental health impacts due to COVID-19.

In conclusion, whether you’re considering to buy a TV lift for your home office or researching the best sit stand desk for your needs, investing in your remote work setup could be a smart move. As this trend continues to evolve, we can expect more innovative solutions and products designed to support remote work.

author avatar
Guy Director
Higher Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. Ergomotion Director since 2005.

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Josh Oliver 04/02/24

I've had an ergomotion desk for 10 years. It's still as good today as it was brand new. Over the years Guy has always responded promptly to any guidance I've needed (mostly help putting the desk back together after removalists take it apart).

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