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Hybrid/Mixed Work Still Unusual, But Increasingly Common in 2021

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The share of U.S. jobs worked on-site dropped roughly 10 percentage points from 84% in 2019 to 74% in 2021, the first full year of the pandemic, according to the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).

Jobs worked some days on-site and other days from home — referred to as mixed or hybrid work — represented the smallest share of all jobs worked each year, but increased from around 4% in 2020 to 6% in 2021.

The share of jobs done exclusively from home (fully home-based jobs) roughly doubled from 11% of all jobs in 2019 to 23% in 2020, before declining to about 21% in 2021.

Jobs worked some days on-site and other days from home — referred to as mixed or hybrid work — represented the smallest share of all jobs worked each year, but increased from around 4% in 2020 to 6% in 2021.

Essential Work More Commonly Performed On-Site

The category of essential worker was created by the Department of Homeland Security to characterize workers employed in occupations considered vital to the continued operation of the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to DHS methodology, around 7 in 10 jobs overall were deemed essential in each survey year.

A significantly larger percentage of on-site jobs (compared to mixed and fully home-based jobs) were considered essential in 2019 through 2021. By 2021 roughly 75% of on-site jobs were classified as essential, compared to about 60% of hybrid and 61% of fully home-based jobs.

Other highlights of the table package include:

Work Schedule

  • Workers with mixed schedules were more likely to work from home at the start or end of the work week. For this set of workers, the most common days to work from home in 2021 were Fridays (53%) and Mondays (50%).
  • The share of mixed jobs with a standard, predictable schedule increased from 81% in 2019 to 84% in 2021. And among jobs that allowed working fully from home, the share that offered a standard, predictable schedule went from 66% in 2019 to about 77% in 2021. The percentage of on-site jobs offering a standard, predictable work schedule decreased from 73% in 2019 to 71% in 2021.  

Industry and Occupation

  • The share of jobs in finance and insurance, real estate and rental and leasing industries that were conducted on-site dropped from 67% in 2019 to 43% in 2021.
  • The percentage of on-site public administration jobs declined from 86% in 2019 to 67% in 2021.
  • Computer and mathematical occupations had a noticeable shift from the majority of jobs worked on-site in 2019 (60%) to a majority not worked on-site in 2020 (32%) and 2021 (30%).
  • The material moving occupations, which include jobs that often must be performed on-site such as stocker and order fillers, hand packers and packagers and industrial truck and tractor operators, had relatively low percentages of home-based jobs:  97% of jobs were on-site in 2019 and 2020, and 96% in 2021.

Recently released American Community Survey data shed some light on the effect of increased remote work on the commuting landscape since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2019-2021 SIPP Home-Based Workers Table Package offers substantial new detail on how home-based work has changed over the past few years.

Related Information

All comparative statements in this report have undergone statistical testing and, unless otherwise noted, all comparisons are statistically significant at the 10% significance level.

Survey statistics are subject to sampling and nonsampling error. For further information on the source of the data and accuracy of the estimates, including standard errors and confidence intervals, refer to the SIPP website.

Clayton Gumber is a survey statistician in the Industry and Occupation Branch of the Census Bureau’s Social Economic, and Housing Statistics Division (SEHSD).

Michael Burrows is a survey statistician in the Journey to Work and Migration Statistics Branch in SEHSD.

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Page Last Revised - June 27, 2023
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