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Two-fifths (40 per cent) of U.S. employees say they’re working remotely at least one day a week, according to a new report by the Institute for Economic Policy Research at Stanford University.

It found the average number of days worked from home increased amid the coronavirus pandemic, from roughly five per cent in 2019 to 25 per cent in 2023.

Fully onsite employees accounted for roughly 60 per cent of U.S. employees and they were, on average, the lowest paid segment. Hybrid employees were the highest paid group and made up nearly 30 per cent of workers, while slightly more than 10 per cent of employees were working fully remotely by the start of this summer.

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Education was the single largest predictor of whether someone could work from home, noted the report, which found employees with a graduate degree spent 37 per cent of their workdays working from home, while those with a high school degree or less did so for 18 per cent of their workdays.

Employees in their 30s reported the highest levels of working from home, while those in their 20s or older than age 50 reported working onsite more often.

While women reported spending roughly two per cent more time at home than men, the gender gap was wider when it came to desired days working from home, with women wanting roughly four per cent more days than men.

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The report also found employees valued the ability to work from home two to three days a week as equivalent to a roughly eight per cent pay increase.

In terms of productivity, fully remote working was shown to lower average productivity by 10 to 20 per cent compared to in-person work, while hybrid working had zero or a mildly positive impact on employee performance. The top challenges of working remotely were communication, barriers to mentoring, building culture and issues with self-motivation.

According to the report, remote working is likely to decrease slightly over the next two years. However, over the longer term, remote working is expected to revert to a pre-pandemic pattern of gradually growing over time.

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