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Stanford Professor Asserts Five-Day Office Week Is Not Coming Back

In a recent opinion to the New York Times, Stanford Economics Professor Nicholas Bloom asserts the data proves that working from home is here to stay. Office occupancy rates across the country, measured by electronic cards swiped in and out, are at 50% of their levels just before the world shut down. While the number of individuals working from home is less than during the height of the pandemic, it has stayed constant at around 30% since 2022.

Employees like avoiding traffic and the extra costs that come with commuting. Bloom asserts remote work saves employers money – by reducing overhead and boosting productivity and profitability. There are also significant benefits to the climate with fewer people commuting daily. Bloom believes that, even if there is a recession, remote work will continue and may increase. He points to data showing that 75% of start-ups give employees flexibility on work locations. As these companies grow, their work practices will grow with them.

Many companies are currently continuing the battle to get employees in. Amazon issued new guidelines to its managers, empowering them to take disciplinary action against employees who do not come into the office at least three days per week. The guidance outlines a progressive discipline method that could result in termination. Amazon has been trying since February to get employees to come in three days per week consistently. 28,000 Amazon workers joined a Slack channel devoted to remote work advocacy, and thousands signed a petition. Amazon remains focused on getting its employees back in.