Before Covid came to America in January 2020, only 5% of the U.S. labor force worked remotely all the time. Within a few months of the pandemic setting in, however, nearly every American who could work from home was doing so. Today remote work is a white-collar norm.
“If you take the U.S. as a whole,” says Edward Glaeser, chairman of Harvard’s economics department, office attendance is “down about 19%, relative to pre-pandemic levels.” That average masks some startling variations among major cities. While Houston sits squarely on the mean at 19% and Los Angeles is “looking pretty good” at 21%, New York and Boston are both down 32%.