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Here's the industries embracing full-time remote work

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George Anders, LinkedIn, Workforce Insight Columnist, Senior Editor at Large, joins Yahoo Finance’s Sibile Marcellus to discuss Linkedin’s report on remote work & transitioning back to the office for the latest segment of Career Control.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: When offices shut down in March of last year, workers had no choice. It was either work from home or else. But now that offices are reopening, do workers have a choice in the matter? Yahoo Finance's Sibile Marcellus here now with the latest installment of Career Control. It's a thorny issue, Sibile.

SIBILE MARCELLUS: Absolutely. Stressed about whether or not you should return to the office this fall? Well, you're not alone. LinkedIn is actually out with a new workforce confidence survey with the scoop on what bosses have been telling their employees. Now during the shutdown last year, it was up to us workers to figure out how to work with, say, kids running around, a dog barking, and constant worry about the pandemic.

But now that many workers have gotten used to it, have shown that they're able to work and continue to do it efficiently-- possibly even better-- now many would like to continue that option. I want to bring in George Anders, LinkedIn's Workforce Insight Columnist. Now George, this is a hot button issue. Let's talk about this new workforce confidence survey. The 4th of July is here. Now people are already thinking about Labor Day and returning to work this fall. What's your biggest observation? Is long-term remote work here to stay?

GEORGE ANDERS: So there's huge interest in hybrid work. That's what a lot of people want, where you get a little bit of it both ways. Some days, you come into work. Some days, you don't. But there's also a pool of people to go, you know what? This work from home stuff, this is a keeper. This is the way I want to stay. So we asked people in 20 different industries, what are you hearing from your boss about work from home?

And what we found is in industries like software, close to half the respondents are saying, we can do it. We've got the green light. Our boss is saying it's OK. That's not true in every industry, and there's some that are a lot less excited about letting everyone work from home. But we're seeing a really high percentage.

And there's still a lot of companies that haven't declared. They're not quite sure which way they want to go. So I would see this as an early signal, saying, work from home is getting endorsed, even by the big companies that had first saw it was just a necessity. Now they're seeing it as an option that their employees really want.

SIBILE MARCELLUS: And people have been talking about whether or not they're going to be forced to return to work this fall with their friends, with their families. It's also spilled onto the LinkedIn platform. There's talk of entitlement. Others saying workers have earned the right to have that option. What's your take? Do most workers want long-term remote work?

GEORGE ANDERS: So a huge amount depends on what your job is. I mean, the classic example is healthcare. And there are things like utilization review that you can do from your laptop at home. There are things like surgery that you probably actually need to come into the hospital to do. Remote is not really going to get that one done. So it's very industry specific.

Manufacturing, again, that's an area where work at home is not really a big option. Education, very much in flux. People are trying to figure out, can you teach remotely? Or do you want to get back in the classroom? And we found only 31% of employers in education are offering a remote work from home option. But in areas like tech or legal, it's well over 40%.

SIBILE MARCELLUS: And how about Wall Street? I want to read to you what Morgan Stanley's CEO James Gorman told his employees about returning to the office. He said, quote, "Labor Day, I'll be very disappointed if people haven't found their way into the office. And then we'll have a different kind of conversation." Wow.

GEORGE ANDERS: He may need to brace himself for some disappointment. Because what we're finding is 40% of finance sector employers are telling people, you know what? You can continue with work at home. And, you know, people who want to have that kind of environment, that will be available in the finance sector. A lot of that is going to happen in processing jobs, things like mortgage processing, things like insurance claims adjustment.

It may be that the top gun Wall Street traders and investment bankers are going to come back in the office. But when you think about the totality of finance, 40% of employers are saying, you can work at home. So he's taking a brave stand now, but I would be interested in what he's going to say six months from now.

SIBILE MARCELLUS: Yeah, this issue is not going away as workers enjoy their summer, but worry about what work is going to look like this fall. George Anders, it was great to have you on. Thanks so much.

GEORGE ANDERS: Thanks, a pleasure.