Work From Home Data Shows Who’s Fully Remote, Hybrid and in Person - The World News

Work From Home Data Shows Who’s Fully Remote, Hybrid and in Person

The American workplace’s experiment with remote work happened, effectively, overnight: With the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, more than half of workers began working from home at least part of the time, according to Gallup. But the shift to a permanent hybrid-work reality has been gradual, with periods of tension as workers across white-collar industries pushed against executives’ return-to-office orders.

Those battles have largely come to an end, and workplaces have reached a new hybrid-work status quo. Roughly one-tenth of workers are cobbling together a combination of work in the office and from home, and a similar portion are working entirely remotely.

This population of hybrid and remote workers in the United States doesn’t quite mirror the larger population of workers: Government data shows they tend to have more education and are more often white and Asian.

Each square here represents 50,000 workers between the ages of 18 and 64. In 2023, about 143 million people in that age range were working in the United States.

A graphic shows a grid of squares representing 143 million workers between 18 and 64.

Roughly 80 percent of those work fully in person. The remaining work either a hybrid schedule or fully remote.

The grid is then split into three sections with color, showing that roughly 115 million of the total 143 million workers are working in person, while about 14 million work a hybrid schedule and another 15 million work fully remote.

If we look at all workers by their level of education, the biggest group of workers have no college education.

The squares are then arranged by education level, showing that the largest group of workers, more than 47 million, have no college education.

But if we focus on just those who work at home all or some of the time, college educated workers become the most prominent. Working from home is, for the most part, a luxury for the highly educated.

All of the squares representing workers who work in person fly out of the graphic, leaving only workers who work either hybrid or fully remote. The largest group left is now workers with a bachelor’s degree, 12.5 million, followed by workers with graduate degrees, another eight million.

The pandemic laid bare inequalities in the American economy. White-collar workers were in many cases able to do their jobs safely at home, but lower-income workers often had to continue to work in person, even when health risks were highest. And now that the public health emergency is over, that workplace divide — who gets the benefits of remote flexibility and who does not — has become entrenched.

White and Asian workers are more likely to work from home

Share of fully remote and hybrid workers who identify as a given race or ethnicity vs. the same group’s share of the entire work force

The divide in who gets the flexibility to work remotely also reflects the country’s racial inequalities. Because white and Asian workers are more likely to hold office jobs, they are more likely to have the opportunity to work remotely part or all of the time. Black and Hispanic workers, meanwhile, more frequently hold jobs in food service, construction, retail, health care and other fields that require them to be in person.

The youngest workers are working from home less often

Share of fully remote and hybrid workers who fall in each age group vs. the same group’s share of the entire work force

When employers were first mounting their return-to-office battles, many assumed that their youngest employees would be the toughest to persuade to come back. But today, young people make up a greater share of those working in person than their share of the total work force.

That is partly because a smaller share of Americans under 25 have completed college degrees. Many work in jobs like food service that cannot be done remotely. But that is not the whole story: Even among college graduates, workers in their 20s are more likely to be in the office full time than their older colleagues. That suggests that young workers are embracing the benefits of in-person work: socialization, mentorship and face time with the boss. The potential downsides of fixed office schedules may also matter less to them: Relatively fewer young workers might have children (or aging parents) at home, making remote flexibility less of a priority.

More women work remotely, but it’s complicated.

Remote work also breaks down along gender lines — though it does not lend itself to a simple narrative.

Overall, women are more likely than men to work remotely. That’s partly because more women have college degrees, so more of them are in the kind of professional jobs in which flexible arrangements have become the norm. Even among those without college degrees, women are more likely to work at a desk in an administrative or customer support role, while men more often work in construction, manufacturing and other jobs that can only be done in person.

Looking narrowly at just college graduates, remote work patterns for women and men look more evenly distributed, with men slightly more likely to work remotely than women. But there’s one place where the pattern looks different: among parents with young children.

Parents have been some of the biggest winners in the flexible-work era. Remote flexibility made more feasible the constant juggling of professional and caretaking obligations. But it is mothers, not fathers, who appear to be taking the most advantage of workplace flexibility, whether out of choice or necessity.

Share of fully remote and hybrid college-educated workers who have children or not, by gender

Note: Young kids are those 5 years old or younger.

Among college-educated men, having children does not make much difference to whether they work at home or in person. Among women, it’s a different story. Mothers of young children are much more likely to work remotely than women without children or mothers of older children.

When possible, disabled workers often choose to go fully remote

Fully remote and hybrid work often get talked about in the same breath. But in some cases, the implications are different.

For many workers with disabilities, the normalization of remote work has offered an opportunity to avoid energy-draining commutes and offices that are not designed to accommodate their needs. For others, it has opened up pathways into industries that were previously difficult to break into.

But those gains come primarily from fully remote work, not the hybrid model that has come to dominate some industries. Workers with disabilities are 22 percent more likely to work fully remotely than otherwise similar workers without disabilities, but only slightly more likely to work a hybrid schedule, according to research from the Economic Innovation Group. Workers with disabilities that limit mobility, such as those who use wheelchairs, were particularly likely to benefit from the opportunity to work entirely from home.

Employers should “understand the significant difference between full-remote and hybrid-remote,” the researchers wrote. “A labor market that includes a greater number of full-remote jobs will open the door for far more otherwise qualified workers.”


The data in this article comes from the Current Population Survey, a monthly survey of 60,000 U.S. households conducted by the Census Bureau. Respondents are asked how many hours they worked the previous week, and how many of those hours they teleworked or worked from home. “Fully remote” workers are those who worked all of their hours remotely; “hybrid” workers are those who worked some but not all of their hours remotely. Respondents who were not employed, or who did not work at all in the previous week, are excluded. Data shown is for calendar year 2023. Figures are rounded throughout.

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