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Amount of Remote Work to Remain Stable, New York Fed Survey Finds

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Aug 17, 2023

Most companies don't plan to make major changes to their remote work policies, a survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found. While they see the benefits of remote work in some areas, they also report its negative effects in others.

According to the survey, service firms reported that, on average, "68 percent of their employees worked in-person only, while 13 percent were fully remote. An average of 19 percent of service workers were in a hybrid arrangement, working remotely for an average of 2.2 days per week (out of a five-day workweek)." By contrast, manufacturers reported an average of 94 percent of their employees working in-person. Nearly identical percentages of these companies reported that the average share of employees working remotely or in-person one year from now would remain the same, with just slightly less remote work expected in the service sector.

Sixty-eight percent of the service firms and 57 percent of the manufacturers surveyed reported “positive impacts of remote work on employee retention, and roughly half noted that offering remote work helped with recruiting.”  Of all the firms surveyed, around 30 percent reported remote work to have positive effects on worker productivity, while 40 percent reported negative effects.

Workplace culture, cohesiveness, communication, and training and mentoring of employees were found to be the four areas in which companies agreed suffered from remote work. Roughly 60 to 70 percent of respondents across both service and manufacturing firms reported negative impacts of remote work in these areas, with the most negative impacts being on workplace culture and cohesiveness, followed by training and mentoring and communication.

Despite the numbers of remote workers, both service firms and manufacturers overwhelmingly plan to keep their physical spaces intact. Seventy-eight percent of each category made no change to their square footage in the past year, and 74 percent of service firms and 77 percent of manufacturers do not expect to reduce or expand their physical footprints over the next few years.

About 25 percent of service firms reported having implemented remote policies over the past year, and 17 percent expect to require more in-person work in the year to come. Among manufacturers, only 10 percent reported making such changes over the past year and 11 percent expect to make these changes next year.

To learn more about the tax implications for remote workers in New York, attend the Foundation for Accounting Education's New York’s Convenience of Employer Rule: Tax Considerations for Remote Workers and Employers Webinar on Aug. 31.