Official data from the US Bureau of Labor revealed what many feared: yes, people who work remotely do work less.
The US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics division released a survey calleds ‘American Time Use’, a survey which covers 2022 and reveals how Americans divided their work and private lives.
For managers who are pushing a return to the office agenda (like Tesla, Amazon and other tech giants), the survey will undoubtedly provide some ammunition, though it’s worth noting that this survey merely reveals time spent working, not actual productivity. Barrons, an outlet where you can download this Bureau of Labor report, claimed that Americans are less productive if doing remote work. Is that true?
As for this particular survey, one of the most interesting facts is that, in 2022, 34 percent of employed persons did some or all of their work at home on days they worked, so remote workers are still a significant part of the workforce.
As for how remote workers work less?
“On average, those who worked at home did so for 5.4 hours on days they worked, and those who worked at their workplace did so for 7.9 hours,” reveals the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
So, what are people who work remotely doing during a regular day?
In a gender breakdown, it would appear that men work more overall hours by a small margin but women are also more involved in housework.
“On an average day, 85 percent of women and 70 percent of men spent some time doing household activities, such as housework, cooking, lawn care, or household management.
On the days they did household activities, women spent an average of 2.7 hours on these activities, while men spent 2.2 hours.
On an average day, 22 percent of men did housework—such as cleaning or laundry—compared with 47 percent of women.”
Men also spent more time doing leisure (5.6 hours), compared to women (4.8 hours).
As for screen time?
“Watching TV was the leisure and sports activity that occupied the most time (2.8 hours per day), accounting for over half of all leisure time, on average.
[…] Playing games and computer use for leisure, and socializing and communicating were the next most common leisure and sports activities after watching TV.
On an average day, individuals spent 34 minutes playing games and using a computer for leisure and 34 minutes socializing and communicating.”
The previously-mentioned difference between genders can be explained by the increased amount of time spent by women on household activities, as well as women’s greater likelihood of working part time.
The findings also revealed that among full-time workers, men worked 8.3 hours per day, compared to 7.8 hours per day for women.
The report linked by Barrons reveals a lot of interesting habits of the remote workforce so, if you are curious about the lives of those refusing to return to the office, do spend a few minutes perusing through it.