Over 70 percent of white collar workers are still working from home

Many people moved from office jobs to working from home at the start of the lockdown 14 months ago. Many worked longer, harder hours while having to contend with children at home all day. It’s been tough, a lot of people have felt burnt out and isolated, but we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. There are also a lot of advantages to working from home of course, and it’s been nice for people to ditch the commute, to not have to deal with annoying coworkers, and to sort-of have more free time. There’s a new Gallup poll showing that about 72 percent of white collar workers are still at home now, with around 80 percent of people in some industries at home.

The poll, published by Gallup on Monday, showed 72 percent of white-collar workers are continuing to work from home as COVID-19 cases plummet around the U.S. The news comes after the Centers for Disease Control announced last week that Americans who are fully vaccinated no longer have to wear masks indoors in most places.

According to Gallop, only 14 percent of blue-collar workers, which the organization defines as those with jobs primarily requiring manual work or physical labor, are working from home. This is in contrast to employees in the computer, media, finance and insurance industries, who see at least 80 percent of workers clocking in remotely.

“Occupations consisting mainly of people who perform their jobs behind desks have experienced the remote-work revolution most intensely in the past year,” Gallop said in the study. “More than seven in 10 workers in such ‘white collar’ jobs have been working from home all or part of the time, in contrast with fewer than two in 10 blue-collar workers.”

[From People]

I’ve worked from home for almost 20 years, but of course I remember having to drive and sit in an office getting bored and not being able to nap in the afternoons. Working at an office just seems like a throwback to another era. My friends who went into offices before the pandemic are hoping their companies let them stay home. People are vaccinated, but it’s still not entirely safe to be in enclosed spaces and I’ve worked in many places where the windows don’t open. Hopefully we’ll bring this work from home culture into the post-pandemic world, whatever that looks like. It seems to benefit companies too because it’s cheaper and they get the same if not better results from workers. I just wish this kind of grace would extend to service and manufacturing jobs. I know cashiers and baristas can’t work from home, but employers should let them sit down and should give them more breaks. People should be able to sit down at work, especially when they’re making minimum wage.




Photos credit: Standsome Worklifestyle and Surface on Unsplash, Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

70 Responses to “Over 70 percent of white collar workers are still working from home”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. February-Pisces says:

    I definitely think working from home should be something that is explored more in the post pandemic era. I think traveling to work everyday is not only costly but time consuming too. Also workplace culture can be exhausting as well if you don’t like some of your colleagues. Working from home can at times be annoying too, especially if you live with others and they won’t leave you alone. But I think having the flexibility to split your time between the home and office is the best of both worlds.

    • Cate says:

      Yes, the time associated with traveling to work is huge. My commute used to be 30-45 minutes on a crowded train or bus, and sometimes worse if transit was delayed. It’s SO nice to have that time for something else.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      I’ve been working from home for about 10 years now, I would quit if I had to go back in the office (and I have turned down awesome jobs for companies that would have required me to work in an office setting when it’s most certainly not necessary for my job).

      I have friends who, after initially no being too happy about working remotely all the time, are now a bit frustrated that their companies are insisting everyone return to work in the office. I agree with the folks below who are advocating for a hybrid/choice of whether you work remotely or in the office, or a split schedule. It’s especially ridiculous to require people who’s jobs can be done remotely to go into the office to work if the folks they work with on their projects aren’t geographically co-located with them in the same office.

  2. ME says:

    How do folks feel about a hybrid model in the future? To be honest, I really miss my office at this point. I miss the idle chatter, the background noise and buzz of activity, and just being downtown on a busy sidewalk. WFH has its benefits (such as not wearing an underwire bra), but I could totally do a hybrid model where I’m in the office 3-4 days a week. Others?

    • Celebitchy says:

      That’s a really good point that I should have made! My son goes to school twice a week now and it’s a good social outlet for him and he gets more out of in-person instruction but I doubt that he would want to do a full week back. I think that’s tiring for the teachers to have big classes like that as well.

    • Becks1 says:

      I worked from home 3 days a week for years (2 days in the office) and honestly I was over it, lol. There was no real reason for me to be in the office, especially if everyone has different office days, there were a lot of people that I just NEVER saw. There’s less buzz, less noise, it felt almost like a ghost town some days. I would be okay with one day a week just to get some paper stuff done but I really don’t feel like the 2 days a week was all that, ha.

      For school, I would love if they kept one day a week virtual. My boys go 4 days a week and Wednesdays are virtual – they like the break for sleeping in a bit more, the teacher pulls out kids for more one on one meets, which I imagine in many ways is easier than in the classroom (esp for kindergarten) because she’s not watching the rest of the class as well. I know the teachers also get a lot of planning done on those days as well, etc.

      • Jordana says:

        @darla, I’m in Alberta Canada. Embarrassingly the covid capital of North America at the moment.
        Yes, agreed with the others, wfh during pandemic is a whole different thing compared to wfh during normal times.

    • Jordana says:

      I would like a hybrid model too. The isolation at home has been hard. It’s really hit me this week. Being at the office meant I got out, I could wander downtown on my lunch break, shop, meet up with friends after work, have lunch with the coworkers I like, have impromptu meetings to discuss emerging issues, and talk out plans. I miss it. Fully admit I had a ugly cry breakdown last night. I’ve isolated at home since last March. This May long weekend is going to be a 3 day stretch with 99.9% of it spent alone.
      It’s not just WFH, it’s the fact that after work, there is no where to go, nothing to do, I can’t see friends, restaurants are takeout only, no restaurant patios are permitted, even outdoor activities are limited where I live. It’s been a very lonely and difficult time; I look forward to returning to the office one day.

      • Becks1 says:

        I do think its hard to compare normal WFH to WFH during the past year. Normally on my telework days I was able to volunteer at school, meet friends for a quick coffee, or we had more time in the evenings so could head out to a restaurant to eat, etc. The past year has thrown those kinds of things out the window so working from home has felt more isolating than it might otherwise.

        I’m sorry it’s been so rough even recently for you. Here’s hoping things get better for you soon!

      • Twin falls says:

        “I do think its hard to compare normal WFH to WFH during the past year. Normally on my telework days I was able to volunteer at school, meet friends for a quick coffee, or we had more time in the evenings so could head out to a restaurant to eat, etc. “

        This is an important distinction. I’ve worked from home for 7+ years and never felt isolated or lonely until Covid.

      • Darla says:

        Where do you live Jordana? I’m so sorry, your situation is like mine was last year, and it was really tough on me too. I’m sorry it’s not more opened where you are yet.

    • mellie says:

      I worked in an office environment for 18 years and for the past 14 months both my husband and I have worked from home. In addition to that, two years ago, we downsized our house, so we really didn’t have a dedicated office space. Well, let me tell you, we quickly came up with one! He is the social butterfly and he struggled at first, well, now he loves it and he can retire in February (but it will probably be more like next May while we make for dam sure we can afford it). I’m more of an introvert and surprisingly, I kind of miss the day to day interaction. We live in town so I can take a lunch break and go work out or go for a run, put in a load of laundry. That being said, we are empty nesters and I’m not trying to homeschool my kids at the same time that I’m working. Those parents are true heroes, not sure how you all did it. We have three grown children (last one graduated college last weekend!) and I think we would have all strangled each other…lol!
      This past week our company (we both work for the same one, different divisions), sent out a return to the workplace…we’re going to be going back two days a week. That’s fair, I think. We need some collaboration time and co-worker interaction. They are being thoughtful and safe about it. And if you’re not vaccinated they are asking that you wear masks etc…

    • Lizzie says:

      I’ve worked hybrid schedule for many years and it’s fine. After working from home for a year now going into the office for any amount of days will change my routine significantly. New puppy in January who is housebroken but maybe not up to an entire day without access to the back yard. I love working from home for many reasons. Many are personal like wearing absolutely inappropriate but comfy cloths all day, no time spent in traffic and getting 1+ hours daily back, less mileage and wear and tear to my car, spent very little $$ on clothes. I can enjoy my lunch break as I like – not in the office cafe. I absolutely get more work done at home, the chitchat that I like in the office does distract. A quick teams chat message takes seconds compared to a group conversation.
      At first I missed the daily interaction with coworkers but not anymore. I am at a time in my life where work is not my social circle and if I were younger then I would understandably have a different opinion.

    • Karlie says:

      This is my works plan! We had a flexible work from home policy before all this though. Not all jobs need to be 100% in person. That being said I’m going in voluntarily once in a while soon to get out of my house.

    • liz says:

      My husband wants hybrid. He’s been working from home for the last 14 months. We live in a very small, open-plan apartment. He’s turned about 1/4 of our living space into his home office. It’s far from ideal. The commute to his office is 45 minutes, each way, by subway. They are talking about going back to the office full time in September.

      I’m mostly retired and do occasional freelance work from home. Our teenager is in hybrid school – in person two days a week and home three days a week. They will be going back full time in the fall and then to college in 18 months.

      He’s hoping that while Kiddo is still living at home, he can convince the powers that be to let him work from home two days a week and go to the office 3 days a week. Once Kiddo has moved out, he’s going to convert part of their bedroom into his home office. That way he can work from home 3 or 4 days a week without the two of us being in each other’s way all day. He just wants to spare himself the commute and the office nonsense. Having a fully stocked kitchen at home doesn’t hurt.

    • manda says:

      I used to go into the office once per week, and I personally found it very inefficient for a few reasons. One, the commute took FOREVER, which is why I wanted to work from home in the first place. Two, on my one day in, I would basically talk to my friends all day. I found it difficult to work at the office because all my stuff that I used to work (basically my code books) were at home. Yes, I could look them up on the computer, but the strange space once per week made me very nonproductive.

      Still, I think it should be an option for those that want it

    • Stephanie says:

      I miss being in the office but I feel like with so many moving to hybrid or permanent WFH, the office isn’t going to be the same. I love the buzz of activity but if only half or less of the people are there, it’s not the same. It reminds me of the week after Christmas which I always work but is deserted and it’s my least favorite time.

    • lucy2 says:

      My office is doing 1 day a week, we take turns so someone is always here but we aren’t together. I foresee us going more hybrid, especially as half the office has young kids, two now live further away, etc. I’d be quite happy with that. I’ve gotten used to being home, especially for the lack of driving! I’d be cool splitting time, or even doing 1 day a week at home. We’ll see.

  3. Leah says:

    I just started doing a 3&2, three days home and two days at work. I’m not that comfortable with it at all. They want to bring us all back 100% which I don’t think is necessary. The system tracks when you sign in and out, how many hours and projects finished so it’s not as if we have to be inside the physical building. They’d save a lot of money if they let us work from home and gave up rent on the two buildings IMO.

    At home I thrive. At work, there’s the office drama. I remember before the pandemic coming home and feeling like a deflated balloon from all the human drama and nonsense.

    • Lizzie says:

      agree 100%. My company has some employees coming in now on rotating weeks. My dept isn’t doing that yet but we only have 4 people so chances are I wont even see my coworker and we will still be ‘talking’ on teams chat. My preference is to wfh 100%.

  4. Becks1 says:

    I work for a large agency and we have been pretty much full telework since March 2020. Some people go into the office once a week or so on a purely voluntary basis bc we do have some actual paper work that has to be done, but not that many. We have heard no word when we are going to go back, but it will be interesting because the people at higher grade levels have offices, so they can close their doors and reduce exposure, the lower grade levels are just in cube farms.

    I also think we are going to open our public-facing offices first, which generally consist of workers who are mostly lower-grades. So I think the “return to the office” is going to hit lower-grade levels more than someone even in my position (I have a higher grade but I’m still in a cube). So it’s not the same as the difference between blue collar and white collar, but there is going to be a discrepancy where the workers who earn less and work more with the public are going to be asked to return first.

    That’s my thinking anyway.

  5. fluffy_bunny says:

    My husband has been wfh since mid March 2020. He won’t be going back to the office any sooner than Labor Day and possibly not until next year. Please someone get him the fuck out of my house. He’s on the phone all day long and my dogs are loud and it’s my job to keep them quiet.

    • Lizzie says:

      LOL. I wfh but my husband still goes into work. It’s heaven having the house to me and the dogs all day.

    • AMA1977 says:

      Lol. I’ve been WFH since March too, and my job is about 80/20 email vs. phone communication (I am in Texas and support my company’s California people, so they email a lot due to the time difference.) I relish the quiet. My husband is self-employed and is back in his actual office as-needed (some weeks 5 days, some 2, but usually about 3) and while I love spending time with him, I get annoyed at him strolling into my “office” (AKA the dining room) for a chat when I’m in the middle of reading a complicated document or drafting a letter. My quiet time is drawing to a close as my kids’ last day of school is a week from today. I love them all, but they are SO LOUD, lol!

      My company isn’t bringing us back until after Labor Day and they’re looking at a hybrid schedule, which I’m all for. 2-3 days in person would be great, I don’t ever want to go back to a full 5 days in the office.

    • Mishka says:

      Haha you made me laugh. Uuugggghhh get my husband out of the house too. He can never go back to an office though as his social skills have completely deteriorated!!! He farts constantly and swears loudly every 5 minutes. I now am his fake secretary reviewing his emails and paperwork and listening to him go on and on about every little thing he does. When the kid’s schools end its summer and I don’t have to shuttle them back and forth I will go back to work. Bye bye bitch!!😆😆😆

      • Darla says:

        ^^^this is why I don’t want to remarry and don’t even want to live with a man again. Especially the farting.

      • fluffy_bunny says:

        I can’t even burp because whenever I do he’s not on mute and apparently everyone can hear everything. My kid is doing freshman year of college in my dining room while my husband is at the kitchen table. I’m used to having the house to myself for a good portion of the day and watching my shows in peace. Now I can’t even hear what’s happening on the shows.

    • lucy2 says:

      LOL! i would go bonkers with someone else working in my home. Luckily I live alone so it’s not a disruption.

    • Lizzie says:

      LOL, coworker, not too bright, yells at his wife when she makes noise. I’m like Dude hit the mute button. Good lord he is stupid but wants to comment all the time so the mike is always open. Another reason to wfh, I don’t have to see this guy face to face at all.

  6. Snuffles says:

    And I’m one of them! Granted, I was full time teleworking before the pandemic. My office didn’t have the space to house me. And I have LOVED it!

    My mother is like, but don’t you miss connecting with people at the office? Honestly, no. At my last job, while I liked my co-workers and we all got along fairly well, ALL of them were ENORMOUSLY stressed because of how senior leadership was running things. Many of them were already wishing for more telework days. Especially the ones with children.

    I don’t miss going in every day seeing and hearing how stressed and miserable everyone was. And commiserating on said misery wasn’t helpful either. One of my co-workers DIED partly because of the stress she was under. One time she collapsed in my arms and I had to call 911 and keep my cool while everyone around me was freaking out. (Note, she didn’t die that day, it happened a few months later when the same thing happened when I wasn’t around). And she wasn’t the only employee we had to call 911 on!

    Sorry for ranting, but I don’t miss ANY of that and I genuinely feel more productive and creative at home not having to deal with other people’s bullshit on a daily basis.

    ETA: Wanted to add that my chronic back problem has disappeared since working from home!

  7. OriginalLala says:

    Hubs and I are still working from home – no return dates have even been discussed at both of our workplaces and it seems like we will be continuing until at least the end of 2021. We would both love a hybrid model in the future.

  8. FHMom says:

    I’m glad people who work in offices got to ditch the commute. I hope it changes the way corporate America works. That said…
    I am beyond pissed that I can’t find a therapist or psychiatrist who does in person sessions. I am sure they were all vaccinated months ago since they are health care workers. Therapy on the phone or by zoom isn’t the same. I am being charged the same, but it isn’t the same. Teachers are in classrooms. Essential workers have shown up from the beginning. Don’t tell me that a therapist or psychiatrist can’t meet with one vaccinated teen face to face. It must be nice to be able to do whatever the hell you want at vulnerable people’s expense. Please tell me if I’m wrong because I can’t see the counter argument

    • nia says:

      I’m not a therapist but I can see the benefit of sticking with zoom/video: most other essential workers wear masks at their jobs eg doctors / nurses treat patients in person but both doctor and patient can wear masks without generally hindering the job. Whilst I prefer therapy in person, I also prefer being able to see my therapists facial expressions, smile etc and vice versa. So much of the body language and emotional response is lost with the masks on and I can’t imagine they would allow maskless therapy anytime soon given that it’s usually in an enclosed space with multiple people in and out of the room all day. This is just my take though, I understand that for a lot of people therapy / support groups are not as effective online.

  9. Case says:

    A lot of people around me are being forced back to the office sometime this summer and I think it’s just awful. I was hired as a remote worker to begin with so I don’t need to worry about it, and I’m grateful for that. But the fact that a lot of companies learned nothing from this — the accessibility and mental health/productivity benefits many workers get from WFH — is really disappointing to me. So many jobs do NOT need to be done in an office setting. At the very least, I think a hybrid schedule (or a four-day work week!) would be super beneficial to people.

    I feel like the world is suddenly being forced into a “COVID is over, move on” phase and I’m not comfortable with that at all. I know it’ll never go away, but we still don’t have it under control the way we should before returning to full normalcy.

    • Leslie Irizarry-Moore says:

      Completely agree, some people are chomping at the bit to go back to “normal“ and I just don’t get it

  10. Marie says:

    And traffic has been fantastic. Keep working from home, please.

    • SpankyB says:

      Right?! LOL There’s a lot more traffic now than a couple of months ago, but nothing like before the lock downs. I loved that eerie feeling of driving around a metropolis and being the only car on the road.

  11. Bren says:

    I’ve been a full-time telecommuter for five years and I will never go back to an office if I can help it. Some days I may stay online longer than normal, but I’ll take an extra hour of work a couple of days a week over a 2-hour commute from home to downtown anytime. The only thing I miss about working in an office is the friendly interaction with colleagues and after-work happy hour.

  12. Nina says:

    Just imagine what wfh could do for the planet, less traffic, less congestion, people moving out of the cities, housing prices going down because of it, rural areas developing a bit more, people being less stressed and able to spend more time with their families, poorer countries getting a bit more money from wfh workers who moved there from richer countries. Overall, very needed rebalancing of wealth, time and energy in a time where geography shouldn’t matter as much. Everything is online anyway

    • Darla says:

      It would do all of this, but the commercial real estate market would collapse, and I also don’t think people realize just how much working from offices fuels our economy. You are talking lunches, delis, happy hours, breakfast orders, just almost unimaginable how much. So, there is a huge downside too. I’m not even sure anyone knows just how badly this will ripple.

      • Nina says:

        Those office buildings could be turned into something else. There would still be need for offices, just not so much. Also lunches and delis would still thrive but not in the same places. For example I ordered takeout a lot during lunch, when I work from home. A lot of people still don’t cook while wfh and can still order lunch. Economy would adapt and we all would have much better quality of life

      • notasugarhere says:

        In Paris and Berlin they are already working to adapt some large office blocks into living space in the heart of the city.

    • fluffy_bunny says:

      I’m tired of spending time with my family. They’re judgemental. They’ve got an opinion on what I eat, how often I eat, if I don’t get out of my pajamas. If I want to eat a salad from the salad place 3 times a week it’s my business. Yesterday my husband was questioning why I had a roast beef sandwich for breakfast. Because I wanted one is the reason.

  13. Maxime duCamp says:

    I’ve been fortunate enough to be 100% WFH since March 2020. I live in a studio and had to give up 25-30% of my living space for a dedicated working space which is not…ideal and I do harbor some resentment about it (and I am also aware of how fortunate that I am to a) have a job and b) the option to WFH). But I also like being able to make every meal at home. I feel like I’ve been eating a lot healthier. I’m not a morning person so previously I’d skip breakfast. I need to lose weight and have been meeting with a dietitian. She stressed the importance of breakfast not so much as “the most important meal of the day” but that not eating it was setting up my marathon snacking during the afternoon. And she was right and I worry that good habit would go straight out the window if I go back to the office. It’s also easier to fit some exercise into my day (but it’s still just as hard to get into the habit).

  14. Guest says:

    I live in the Rockies and the switch to WFH has had a massive impact on small towns in our region. There’s been an influx of remote workers who have more expendable income than locals and we’ve seen our housing prices sky rocket. Even if you can afford a house nothing makes it to market for very long before it’s snatched up sight unseen for well over ask. And the rental market is just as bad. We currently have 13 pages of help wanted ads in our local paper and one apartment for rent (at $4000/month for 2 beds). So from that perspective we’re kind of hoping that some people go back to offices at least part time.

    • lucy2 says:

      I think there’s going to be a lot of that around here too. We’re a summer beach resort area, but a LOT of people fled here from NYC and stayed through. The gloomy winter probably sent a few back, but we’re definitely going to end up with more year round people. There is NOTHING to rent here other than houses, and they’re $2000 and up.

    • Lizzie says:

      I’m in St Louis, no one has fled here that I know of but real estate has skyrocketed here too.

  15. salmonpuff says:

    I’ve been working from home since 2006, and it works for me. I can’t imagine going back to an office full-time. But one thing I have really, really missed is in person meetings. There’s so much more you can get done face to face than over zoom or the phone. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, but I really miss getting that distinct vibe from a person/office environment, which helps me paint a fuller picture. I also miss getting dressed up on occasion!

    I hope that if we do move to a more WFH model that we don’t turn our downtowns into ghost towns. It’s been so depressing to see our once-vibrant downtown so empty and barren. Convert them to housing or something!

  16. Leslie Irizarry-Moore says:

    My company is going to a hybrid model in June… Totally optional to work in the offices. I think it’s good because some people need the social interactions and some need the structure of an office, but I think it’s ridiculous to sit in traffic just to work on a laptopin an office. So I’m happy doing two or three days in the office, and the rest at home

  17. lowercaselois says:

    At first ,I didn’t like working from home and I was constantly worried that the economy was going to crash and I would loose my job or I was in some type of apocalyptic movie. There were nights I couldn’t sleep. The stress some days was awful. But now things are much better and I can see the light at the end of tunnel. I enjoy having adults in the Whitehouse and can sleep at night. I now enjoy working from home. I do miss going out to lunch with co workers or going off on my own during lunch to a store or reading a good book or listening to music on the train. But not having to commute or getting dressed up has been sort of nice. But I also miss the human connection and sitting around exchanging ideas. Also, the thing I don’t like is that now the work day has expanded and I get emails and phone calls in the evening and weekends. I am over pointless zoom meetings, because the office needs to stay connected. More people know my cell phone number. So I was thinking 2 or 3 days in and the rest of the week home.

  18. 2lazy4username says:

    I was already working from home 2 days a week pre-pandemic. We just got word we are moving to 3 days a week from home starting July 13th. I like the idea of going in a couple of days a week for meetings and socialization, and staying home the rest of the week. I love being able to pop out to run errands or take a midday nap, but I do miss face-to-face collaboration. This strikes the perfect balance for me!

    My old company was VERY anti-remote; said it “wasn’t possible.” Heard from an old coworker they will be staying mostly remote from now on. This pandemic has taken lives and inflicted horrific trauma. It’s also forced outside-the-box thinking and new perspectives.

  19. MsIam says:

    I’m scheduled to go back to the office next month. Some are already back but the majority are still at home. I’ve enjoyed being home, mainly for the lack of commute. This past winter was heavenly when it was snowy and icy.

  20. TigerMcQueen says:

    I’ve been working from home for over a year now (communications at a uni/college), and while no plans have been officially released for return-to-office, my employer seems to be hoping remote staff can begin returning in August. My boss has said he fully supports working from home as an ongoing policy.

    Given the nature of work in comms, sometimes it’s essential that staff be together at certain cycles within projects. And I do miss my colleagues and the overall work environment. But it’s not always essential that we be in one place, and we’ve been hugely productive this past year despite all being remote.

    There are so many things I love about working from home, even though I miss certain things about the office. I’m 10-15 minutes away from the office and my kids walk to school, so the commute’s not an issue. But it’s lovely working on our porch during nice weather, and fixing lunch with my family, and some days rolling out of bed at the last minute and working in my PJs until noon. I appreciate that my boss is allowing us to continue doing so. We’ll all be hybrid, basically, if we choose, and it looks like we’re being given flexibility in that regards. So so many days a week/month, say, for one person, or working 3 afternoons at home a week, for another. All depending on our individual needs and current projects.

    Now, my husband’s company has said starting soon, no more than 2 days at home a week, and there’s pressure for that to be rare. My teenagers will likely be back at school fulltime next year (they’re still remote), though there might be an option for remote in fall at least.

    We haven’t had an issue running into each other, thanks for enough space to spread out. It’s actually been very nice spending so much time together, and I’m going to miss that. And oh my goodness our pets have loved all their humans being here so much!

  21. StrawberryBlonde says:

    I worked in an office 5 days per week from 2007-early 2019 when I went on a 13 month mat leave. My commute was 35-40 min. I returned from my mat leave in April 2020 and was WFH with a 13 month old at home. It was really really rough until we got him in daycare in September 2020. But since then I have enjoyed it. No commute so more free time, less money spent on gas. I can nap at lunch! My coworkers and I have already discussed doing a hybrid model when we go back. We will likely go in 2 days per week and WFH 3 days per week, alternating which days we are each in the office. I don’t want to spend the gas money anymore! But I also would like to get out of the house a couple times per week.

  22. Gab says:

    I had worked hybrid for several years pre-pandemic, now fully remote. I think hybrid is the best of both worlds. I don’t see myself ever wanting to do five days a week in the office again. I don’t think many companies will want that at this point. I think the companies will want to save money on real estate costs. Maybe a lot of places will do smaller office spaces with only certain people going in on certain days.

  23. Lizzie says:

    My son took an out of town job just before the lockdown started. So he was in a new city and working from his apartment – that was pretty hard for him. However he eventually met neighbors who are youngish like him and made friends. He is looking forward to a hybrid model now.

  24. Rose says:

    Hybrid models are interesting – couple things to consider are the different kinds of personalities and professional career stages in a team/business. For example, for people who are more entry level and/or just starting their careers being in an office makes networking pretty natural, also being in meetings in person you can pick up on non verbal cues easier than on a Teams or a Zoom. Then for managers (like me) you have some people who are pretty good at being visible – even remote – and others who that is not their strong suit (but who still do good work). Commuting sucks period, and working from home provides flexibility particularly for people who are in a caregiver role at home. But being able to work together in person has a lot of benefits both tangible and intangible. So, we’ll see how things shake out in different industries this fall I guess. Hopefully we’ll all be able to find a healthy work life balance.

  25. Penguin says:

    WFH is the best thing thats ever happened to me. Easily the only positive out of the pandemic. I can do bits and peices around the house, have a homemade lunch with my husband or have a nap/walk. And if I need to work late I can stop to have dinner and a break and then continue for without transporting everything home. I feel like I have so much more free time as evenings and weekends arent spent commuting or doing chores. I know it’s not the same for everyone, but for me it’s been truly lovely.

  26. Veronica S. says:

    It’s here to stay, IMO. A lot of office workers are starting to recognize just how much time in the day is lost to traffic, so it becomes beneficial to trade income for time if you can make up the financial loss in other areas. On the business side, they’re seeing huge gains from dumping building leases. From a community perspective, I’m hoping that it’ll ultimately bring down the cost of urban living in the long run, though there may be a rough transition period where cities lose tax income from businesses leaving complexes. And certainly, we will benefit always from having fewer vehicles on the road.

    Obviously, we still need to work on increasing wages for lower income jobs, as well, but they’re perfectly positioned for the first pushback in awhile. For once, demand for workers exceeds what’s available, which means the natural capitalist result should be driving wages up. Anyone pretending otherwise is just giving up the ghost about the fact that capitalism doesn’t actually work as advertised. *finger guns*

  27. Athena says:

    I don’t miss the hour and a half each way commute or the occasional micro aggression from co-workers. The company I work for has an open floor plan, no assigned desk, you dock at a station and move your stuff to a locker at the end of the day. If the person seating next to you had a cold it was only a matter of time before you got sick.
    I miss the occasional Wendy’s breakfast sandwich, a salad from Cosi, a croissant from Au bon Pain, or a sandwich from Pret.
    I got on a public bus a few weeks ago for the first time in over a year and it felt really strange, I think companies are being considerate because of some pushback but a year from now they’ll expect everyone back in office

    • Meg says:

      Yep i dont miss toxic coworker, work from home i can avoid them its been lovely. And last winter was the first one in my memory where i didnt get a cold

  28. EM says:

    My company has softened the blow by allowing a flexible work schedule, post covid. 2 or 3 days a week at home and the rest in office. It’s nice but I can tell you many people I work with don’t want to go back at all. Only 7% volunteered to go back to the office in the first wave. I gained so much from being at home all the time (save money on transportation, food, etc), spend more time with my pets, work out every day at lunch (I have a treadmill). I can tel you that my next job will be entirely remote.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      If you can find an entirely remote job, all power to you. But it’s so hard to do that unless you’re in business for yourself. My SIL is an architect and she almost never had to see another person pre pandemic. Now the company wants everyone back in the office. Even though they have increased productivity with less overhead as people work from home. It’s insane.

      • Meg says:

        Exactly it costs less for many companies but they still want people back in the office its an american culture thing i think

  29. Silent Star says:

    I’m hoping and expecting that a hybrid model will become more of a norm everywhere that it is possible. It makes sense for mental health as well as commuters’ carbon footprint.

    I am grateful and recognize my privilege that I even have the option to WFH. 🙏

    And I LOVE listening to my conference calls on mute while doing my dishes!!! LOL, it feels so productive!