Will remote work fizzle out in 2024?

Has the workplace pendulum swung back towards the office?

*Cue the drumroll please*… another workplace trend has been coined: the new remote.

My disdain for catchphrases aside 🙄, I too am observing the ‘new remote’ phenomenon.

Essentially, it means that working from home (or a third place) 100% of the time is becoming a lot less common, with hybrid work patterns finding a more permanent place in our days, weeks, and months. In most of the organisations that I’m working with, employees are finding their way back into the office 2 to 3 days a week [a stat that has been supported in the latest Thriving Workplace Survey from Super Friend].


In my opinion, a few things are contributing to the ‘new remote’:

  • Human nature: we are ultimately social creatures and we crave connection. So while working at home is great for deep, concentrative work, and some solitude, many employees come to realise that doing it 100% of the time leads to feelings of isolation. They crave the socialisation, connection, and collaboration that happens in the physical workplace.

Studies show that collaboration is the No. 1 purpose for a physical office—a finding that applies regardless of geography, industry, role, or generation. As such, when creating a workplace model—whether physical, digital, or hybrid—you need to intentionally design it to support and foster connectivity and collaboration. 

- Deloitte 2023 Global Human Trends Capital survey.


  • FOMO: when we’re not in the office we miss out on hallway conversations, watercooler catch-ups, incidental mentoring, learning by osmosis, and the ad-hoc moments of fun with the team. Many employees tell me that when they work from home 100% of the time a ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ starts to creep in and they feel disconnected.


  • We can have the best of both worlds: we’re a few years into the trial and error of hybrid work now, and even those organisations who only ‘tentatively’ adopted WFH arrangements during the pandemic have changed course, as research underscores the benefits. Businesses I’m working with tell me that formally supporting hybrid work is really about balancing and respecting the needs of the business and individuals — especially in a tight talent market.



  • The best in the business are earning the commute: Facilities, People and Culture, Property, and Finance teams are getting on the same page when it comes to leveraging the workplace as an asset that not only attracts talent but also entices people back into the office — even if it’s just for a few days a week. They’re seeking advice from COMUNiTI about sourcing quality assets with the latest base-building facilities like cafés, shared workspaces, and end-of-trip spaces, as well as how to configure floorplates with versatile spaces that support the evolved purpose of the office as a place to connect, socialise, and collaborate.

Only 6% of surveyed organizations are satisfied with the status quo and say they have not changed—and will not change—their workplace strategy. Meanwhile, 78% are trying to create a future workplace where workers can thrive.

- Deloitte 2023 Global Human Trends Capital survey.


Has the workplace pendulum swung back towards the office? I’d say yes, it has. But not to the extreme where we should be “mandating’ everyone back to the office, it’s settling somewhere nicely at a hybrid mid-point. And just like all things that are good in moderation (except for chocolate — where more is best!), working autonomously from home continues to be beneficial, as does working in the office, alongside our leaders, mentors, and teammates.

The ‘new remote’ phenomenon is ultimately telling us that flexibility is here to stay. It’s not a trend — it has become a strategic workplace shift.



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