Jan 9, 2020

The rise of the home office

Felix Salmon, author of Edge
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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

Go deeper

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.

George Floyd updates

Thousands of protesters march over the Brooklyn Bridge on June 4 in New York City. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All four former Minneapolis police officers have been charged for George Floyd’s death and are in custody, including Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, who were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

The latest: Civil rights groups filed a lawsuit Thursday against President Trump, Attorney General Bill Barr and other federal officials on behalf of Black Lives Matter and other peaceful protesters who were forcibly removed with rubber bullets and chemical irritants before Trump's photo-op at the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church on Monday.

The long journey to herd immunity

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The sought-after state of herd immunity — in which widespread outbreaks are prevented because enough people in a community are immune to a disease — is complicated by open questions about the effectiveness of a future vaccine and how COVID-19 spreads.

Why it matters: Unless a sufficient level of immunity is achieved in the population, the coronavirus could circulate indefinitely and potentially flare up as future outbreaks.