The remote working phenomenon introduced to Americans in 2020 caused a significant change in work attitudes despite a historically competitive labor market, wage growth and inflation.

During the pandemic, remote work seemed enticing as employees remained in pajamas throughout the day and enjoyed their slow mornings, coming and going from their laptops whenever they pleased.

Simultaneously, employers reduced the pressure of making their staff return to in-office work full-time. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 62 percent of employers offer the option to work remotely at least some of the time.

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The Census Bureau reported 39 percent of workers teleworking from home, with half of them at home five days a week. Employees are no longer solely focused on negotiating for higher pay. Instead, they are increasingly advocating for non-monetary benefits, such as paid time off and flexible work hours.

Consequently, many workers are opting to work fewer hours or may find it challenging to maintain the same level of productivity during their working hours due to these shifts in priorities.

The Conference Board in May reported that worker satisfaction rose significantly in 2022 compared ro 2021, reaching an all-time high since the survey began in 1987. The survey found that among the 18 components, “interest in work” made the smallest contribution to 2023’s increased satisfaction, while the work-life balance resulted in the largest. Wages wiggled in the middle.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this is because workers are searching for jobs they find worth spending a large portion of their lives in. The “conventional wisdom,” as The Wall Street Journal puts it, is that happier workers are more productive, and that in order for “most productive employees” to remain productive, employers must take steps to keep them happy, even if that means making them “less productive.”

If that last sentence confused you, don’t worry – the contradiction confused us as well. Watch Patrick- Bet David discuss “The Case Against a 4-Day Workweek,” below.

1 comment

  • Certain jobs such as nursing, baking, plumbing and electrical installations to name a few can never be done from home.

    Many jobs, subject to planning regulations can be done from home. Many startups such as HP and Apple started from home. Mr Ray Dalio’s hedge fund started in a home. They certainly moved on to larger estates as the business grew.

    At the same time, the idea of telecommuting from home to work using networked computers started over 50 years ago.

    The covid pandemic was the catalyst.

    Since then businesses did not need to use that large office space.

    This resulted in the US a fall in $800 billion in the value of commercial office space.

    Working in the office may have a social benefit and may enhance promotional prospects.

    At the same time, if the job can be done at home, then there are no worries about the time to commute to and from work.

    People may well be content if they are happy to stay in their position.

    Thank you
    Anthony, Sydney