Stories

The rise of the home office

Source: IPUMS USA, Ruggles, et al. (2019); and St. Louis Fed; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy is shifting inexorably away from manufacturing and towards services — and with that shift comes a rise in remote work.

By the numbers: St. Louis Fed researchers found that more than 3% of American employees primarily worked from home in 2017, up from 0.7% in 1980.

  • That number rises to 4% for workers in sales, and 5% for workers in management, business and finance.
  • In Boulder, Colorado, 9% of full-time employees work primarily from home.
  • At Axios, 12% of full-time employees work remotely from home.

What they're saying: "The technological substrate of collaboration has gotten shockingly good over the last decade," wrote Stripe CTO David Singleton in May, announcing that his company's fifth engineering hub would be "Remote."

  • Some Stripe teams are comprised entirely of remote employees.

The bottom line: America's self-employed have been working from home for decades. Now full-time employees are beginning to discover the attractions of avoiding the dreaded open office.

Go deeper: An unsettling future for millions of American jobs