Jack Coopersmith sits outside his apartment and takes part in a remote meeting while working from home in May 22, 2020.Brian Snyder/Reuters
- It's been about three years since many workers had to work from home because of coronavirus.
- From the labor market to business establishments, remote work has had many impacts on the economy.
Around three years ago, many office workers grabbed their last coffee before riding the elevator up to their office floor. They ate their lunches with their coworkers in office kitchens one last time, and said goodbye to in-person meetings and their desk neighbors — perhaps forever.
It's been over three years since the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic and many Americans were pushed into remote work. While some have since returned to the office, others have decided they want to still work from home. Some enjoy hybrid work too, going into the office sometimes. Their former in-person colleagues may have quit and moved on to new jobs during the Great Resignation, perhaps where they can work remotely too.
"The world of work has flipped upside down," Scott Dobroski, a career expert at Indeed, told Insider. "And because the world of work has changed, it has implications for the US economy."
The results aren't all good or all bad. Remote work has given some workers flexibility in their schedules, benefitting working parents, family planning, and people with disabilities. It's also boosted some local and leisure businesses that saw slow weekdays in the "Before Times," at the expense of commuter-driven businesses.
Dobroski pointed to Indeed data that shows the share of remote job openings is about three times its pre-pandemic level. He noted that's one "strong" indicator that "remote work is here to stay."
Adam Ozimek, chief economist at Economic Innovation Group, shared a similar sentiment.
"Remote work has been a huge and permanent change to how people work and live," Ozimek told Insider. "I don't think it's going anywhere."
Here are some of the ways remote work has changed workers and the economy.