CareCredit - Women's Health April 2024

Layoffs Target Remote Workers More Than In-Office Staff

For some workers, working from home no longer seems like an attractive option.

As Bloomberg News noted in a recent report, the white-collar labor market has cooled, leading companies to scale back their work-from-home offering.

The report, citing information from employment firm Live Data Technologies, says that fully remote staff were more likely to be cut last year than their counterparts who worked in office. 

The share of postings for fully remote jobs in the U.S. on LinkedIn fell more than nine percentage points between the beginning of 2022 and the end of 2023. And among Fortune 100 companies, the average in-office attendance requirement is now 3.1 days, according to real estate firm JLL.

“The perception that it’s a lousy job market is persuading people that they better say ‘yes’ [to in-office work] because they don’t want to hunt for a job in a down market,” Peter Cappelli, director of the Wharton Center for Human Resources, told Bloomberg.

Many companies, Wall Street’s banks among them, have long returned to five days a week in their office schedules, while others are still fully in remote/hybrid mode, the report said.

Executives argue this flexibility helps attract and retain workers, particularly in smaller cities with a less robust talent pipeline, and for employees with young children.

The report also noted that anxiety among workers may be misplaced, as the share of American companies requiring full-time, in-office attendance actually fell from 49% in the first quarter of 2023 to 35% in the first quarter of this year, according to the Flex Index by Scoop, which advises companies on how to deal with hybrid staff. 

Vijay Govindarajan, a professor of management at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, sees firms turning to more “structured hybrid models,” with workers required to come in several days per week.

Meanwhile, research by PYMNTS Intelligence has found that the remote work environment has increased fraud and cybersecurity concerns for most small to mid-size businesses (SMBs) as legacy fraud defense tools are no match for modern, evolving fraudsters.

“The return of business travel to pre-pandemic levels has given rise to more travel and expense reimbursement fraud, which can be especially costly, as it typically goes undetected for up to 18 months,” PYMNTS wrote. “Managing these fraud threats is a challenge for most SMBs due to small security teams and budgets threatened by inflation.”