The Workforce in 2024 and Communications Solutions for the Future of Work

The flexibility of remote and hybrid work scheduling has permanently changed the work landscape, but the new normal varies widely across different demographics and industries. Employees’ ability and preference to work in person or on-site depends greatly on whether they’re given the support and technology — like unified communications tools — to work seamlessly in any location.

Who’s Working Where?

Despite all the attention around remote work, only about 15 million, or 10%, of Americans worked exclusively from home in March 2024. An additional 14 million worked hybrid schedules, while most employees were fully in-person. Notably, most employees (60%) with remote-capable jobs prefer a hybrid schedule.

Specific industries and positions are more naturally suited to remote work. Knowledge- or computer-based jobs can be done anywhere, while frontline and industrial workers must be on-site. Remote-friendly industries in 2024 are:

  • Computer and IT
  • Marketing
  • Accounting and finance
  • Project management
  • Medical and health
  • Human resources and recruiting
  • Customer service

Due to the nature of these positions, remote and hybrid employees tend to have higher levels of education than workers whose jobs require them to be on-site. They also tend to be older and more established than their peers, drawing higher-than-average salaries.

Younger employees (who entered the workforce during the pandemic) are more likely to want to go to the office. They want to experience the benefits of in-person work, like socialization with coworkers, mentorship, and career opportunities. Meanwhile, Millennials and Gen Xers, who are more likely to have families, prefer the flexibility of hybrid work schedules.

Flexible Locations: Geographic Trends

While some jobs can be carried out anywhere, certain areas offer more support to digital nomads than others. The availability of flexible jobs varies widely depending on the State, with the Northeast and West Coast more likely to offer remote or hybrid work schedules than the South and Midwest.

As the new work model continues to evolve, companies in locations that foster flexibility and support their digital workforces will have a competitive advantage in attracting top talent.

Employees with Disabilities Benefit from Remote Work

Remote work has made the labor market more accessible to employees with disabilities, and the number of workers in this category has increased over the past few years. People with disabilities are 22% more likely to work entirely remotely than their colleagues without disabilities and are slightly more likely to have a hybrid work schedule.

Working from home allows employees with disabilities to focus on their jobs without the added mental and physical labor of navigating commutes or dealing with accessibility issues at the office. However, employers should still ensure employees have all the accommodations they need for equal opportunities at home and in person.

Small Businesses have it Both Ways

The new mode of working has allowed small business owners to address the role the office plays in their operations. Many have relocated to smaller offices or have gone permanently remote altogether. This flexibility allows them to meet with clients in different settings and attract a larger talent pool.

On the other hand, some industries – like smaller banks – are asking their employees to work in person, hoping to foster camaraderie in close quarters. Nearly one-third of small banks require their staff to be in the office full-time, compared to just 4% of banks with 5,000 or more employees. Consequently, employees might leave smaller firms for more flexible schedules at larger lenders.

Communications Solutions for the Future of Work

Four years into the new work landscape, virtual meetings still have some room for improvement. Thirty percent of employees feel virtual meetings are less effective than those held in person, while 52% believe there’s no difference. Only 18% think virtual meetings are more effective.

However, with the right unified communications and collaboration tools to connect remote, hybrid, and on-site employees, the digital workspace can be a powerful place for colleagues to connect and create. An all-in-one collaboration platform with audio web conferencing, video calling, direct messaging, group chat, and file sharing fosters real-time collaboration across locations.

One of the most remote-friendly fields, customer service, benefits from omni-channel contact center platforms. With flexible deployment options and real-time dashboards that work on any device, agents can expertly assist clients from on-premises or virtual locations.

When implemented thoughtfully, these technologies enhance employee productivity, inclusion, and cohesion, ensuring every person can perform at their highest ability from any location.

TCI solutions can connect and empower your remote, hybrid, and in-person teams. Give us a call at (703) 321-3030 or

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