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A Stanford Economist Who Studies Remote Work Says Half of All Workers Will Make This Big Change in 2022

Remote Work Says Half of All Workers Will Make This Big Change in 2022

Remote Work Says Half of All Workers Will Make This Big Change in 2022

Excerpt from inc.com

Economists who study remote work and productivity used to have a big problem: finding groups of workers to study.

To do it right, you needed to identify people who did the exact same job and divide them into two cohorts, with group one working from home and the other working in an office.

A Stanford University economics professor named Nicholas Bloom and a graduate student named James Liang, who was CEO and co-founder of the biggest travel agency in China, came up with a solution. They used Liang’s employees for research, studying 250 call center employees who worked from home, and 250 who worked in an office.

I wrote about their study back in 2017. In short, the work-from-home employees were more productive than the in-office ones. But at the end of the study, half of the work-from-home cohort decided that they missed the office, and came back at least part time.

Thanks to the pandemic, it’s no longer hard to find subjects for these kinds of work-from-home studies. And Bloom has kept up his research.

In fact, he wrote recently that we can now predict exactly how the big, pandemic-induced workplace changes we’ve seen over the past two years will settle during 2022. He says employees will be divided into three distinct groups:

1. Employees who can’t work from home

2. Employees who can work remotely, indefinitely

3. Employees who will work under a hybrid model: some remote work, some in-office

 

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