Hybrid, Remote Work Remain Popular Despite Office Re-Openings

Despite widespread plans to bring employees back to the physical office, it seems that many workers still haven’t returned to their old desks on a full-time basis—and might continue to work from home (either on a hybrid schedule or full-time remote) for the foreseeable future.

According to new survey data from LinkedIn (based on around 5,000 U.S.-based respondents), some 50 percent of employees have returned to working onsite, a slight but significant rise from 40 percent in September 2020. Meanwhile, the percentage of those working remotely on a full-time basis declined from 44 percent to 34 percent. Some 15 percent of workers said they engaged in hybrid work, heading into the office for a few days per week.

“What’s most striking… is how much the pandemic-influenced worksite choices of 2020 have persisted,” read the blog posting accompanying the data. “That’s happened even as mass vaccinations and significantly relaxed safety protocols allow nearly all employers to imagine a full return to the worksite.”

LinkedIn also found that software development was one of the sectors “with the lowest percentage of respondents currently saying that they’re working mostly onsite,” with 20 percent of respondents falling into that bucket. Contrast that with fields such as public safety (78 percent) and retail (71 percent) that usually demand a worker’s physical presence. 

LinkedIn’s data is echoed by other sources. For example, GitHub’s latest State of the Octoverse report showed that more technologists are indeed shifting to hybrid and fully remote work:

In Dice’s 2021 Technologist Sentiment Report, 85 percent of technologists said they found the prospect of hybrid work anywhere from somewhat to extremely desirable. Some 94 percent of younger technologists (i.e., those between 18 and 34 years old) also thought of a hybrid workplace as either somewhat, very or extremely desirable (compared to 84 percent of those aged 35 and older).

As technology companies have debated how to safely reopen, many have decided to allow hybrid work schedules for most technologists—even companies that pride themselves on an “office-centric” culture. However you feel about hybrid and remote, it’s clear these modes of work are here to stay.