Data from Scoop’s Flex Index contradicts recent federal government data on remote work
SAN FRANCISCO, April 11, 2023 — Today, Scoop, the company enabling employees to plan great in-office days effortlessly, releases The Flex Report – Founding Date Deep Dive. The report cites data from the Flex Index – the world’s most robust source on company in-office requirements – showing stark contrast to a recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report.
The BLS survey claims that remote work is drastically declining with only 27.5 percent of private firms offering hybrid or remote work in 2022. Data from The Flex Report and a number of industry researchers say otherwise. If remote work isn’t declining, at what pace is it rising? Are newer companies more likely to offer flexibility than legacy ones? What does the future of remote work look like?
According to the US Census Bureau, 5 million businesses were started in 2022. The founders of these companies had to make office location policy decisions, but are they opting to go back to what some might call the “pre-pandemic norm” of five days a week of in-person work? This is the kind of analysis that is now anchored in quantitative data, with comprehensive insights from the Flex Index’s 4,000+ companies, covering more than 25,000 office locations that collectively employ more than 100 million people.
“While the pandemic forced almost everyone that could work from home to do so, the trend toward remote access was already well established. Only 20 years ago, smartphones weren’t a thing, many people didn’t have home computers, and access to the internet wasn’t a given, so all work de facto took place in the office,” said Rob Sadow, CEO of Scoop and creator of the Flex Index. “The rate of change since then is staggering. With nearly ubiquitous WiFi, rapidly improving remote communication tools, and the increasingly global nature of work, all employees at a company being in the same office at the same time is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
“Scoop’s findings indicate that offering work location flexibility isn’t merely a trend for companies started post-pandemic, but a marked shift for most companies started after 2000. While the US Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that 72 percent of companies had little to no remote work in the last year, the Flex Index data suggests that work location flexibility is here to stay, though some companies have taken a step back from fully remote work.
Companies have hired thousands – if not tens of thousands – of employees who have worked fully remotely since the pandemic began, but some big tech firms are shifting to hybrid work. Take Meta’s (NASDAQ: META) pause on offering fully remote jobs as an example. Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) have both been vocal in committing to hybrid work and their desire to get employees into the office more often.
“Abruptly revising these policies can leave employees in the lurch, feeling like they’ve experienced a bait and switch on work expectations,” said Sadow. “The impact on employee morale can be detrimental, and companies should proceed carefully in terms of the approach and pace of unwinding fully remote work opportunities to make sure the change doesn’t negatively impact operations or performance.”
Key Findings on How Founding Year Impacts Flexibility
“These results show how the future will be increasingly remote,” said Nicholas Bloom, Stanford economics professor and co-founder of the Working From Home Research Project. “Younger firms are strikingly more remote, and as they grow and dominate industries this will spread out across the entire economy. Firms pushing for managers and professionals to be in the office 5-days a week are going to look increasingly outdated.”
- Flexibility Strongly Correlates With Founding Year: Companies founded after 2000 are far more likely to offer at least some work location flexibility. 82 percent of companies founded post-2000 offer some flexibility, while only 53 percent of companies founded pre-2000 offer flexibility.
- Even Excluding Tech, 73 Percent of Companies Founded Post-2000 Offer Work Location Flexibility: Even when you remove tech, companies formed since 2000 are overwhelmingly flexible. If you look at non-tech companies that started since 2010, the percentage offering flexibility increases to 76 percent.
- Out With the Old, In With the New: If you’re looking for fully flexible work (where companies give their employees a choice over whether to come into the office), look at newer companies. Only 20 percent of non-tech companies founded before 2000 offer full flexibility. Flex Index data finds that companies started after 2010 are 3x more likely (62 percent ) to embrace full flexibility.
- Large Companies (1,000+ Employees) Tend to Be More Flexible if They Were Founded More Recently: Fifty percent of large companies founded pre-2000 offer some level of work location flexibility. For large companies started in 2010 and later, a full 75 percent offer some level of work location flexibility.
- 75% of Companies Are Expected to Offer Flexibility in the Future: With each passing year, companies started since 2000 will be a more significant percentage of US companies. Based on the current data, more than 75 percent of companies will offer work location flexibility in the future.
We are still early in the flexible work journey, and these trends may change over time. The Flex Index is committed to capturing and providing the latest data points and insights on flexible work offerings for job seekers everywhere. You can contribute to the breadth and quality of the Flex Index by adding your company information here.
*Launched in February 2023, the Flex Index provides insights from over 4,000 companies and 25,000 office locations that collectively employ more than 100 million people. With insight into company-by-company trends across numerous axes — including location, size, industry, and more — now anyone can uncover companies’ workplace flexibility policies in a single, comprehensive place.
The Flex Index collects firmographic and office requirements information on more than 4,000 companies. These companies collectively have more than 25,000 office locations and employ more than 100 million people.
Company office requirements are generated through a combination of online survey and manual entry of publicly available information. All surveys must be submitted by an employee of the company with an accompanying work email address to verify their employment. All surveys contributing to this report were conducted between October 2022 and February 2023. Once a company is incorporated into the Flex Index, company representatives are contacted to inform them of their inclusion. Companies can add or update their information on the Flex Index at any time.
Company office requirements reflect the most common office requirements for corporate employees. Companies can add detail to their company page to reflect job functions, roles, or geographies where there are different office requirements from the corporate policy. This includes opportunities for fully remote work, roles that are required to be fully on site, or other hybrid work arrangements.
Our partner People Data Labs provides the data on the founding year for companies in the Flex Index.
Scoop is the fastest way to plan your next great office day. With Scoop, employees get more out of going in, with easily scheduled in-office days and invites. For HR and workplace leaders, Scoop provides insights on work location trends, office usage, and additional workplace solutions to get the most out of hybrid work.Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Scoop is a privately-held company with the backing of prominent investors including Haystack Ventures, Audacious Ventures, G2 Venture Partners, Activate Capital, BNP Paribas, and select angel investors.