States where the fewest workers are going back to the office

Remote work used to be a perk enjoyed mostly by tech workers. Stacker used Census Bureau data to explore where teleworking has remained popular as America moves further from pandemic lockdowns.  

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An empty office space in a business.

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Bosses were hopeful Labor Day weekend might be a turning point, with big firms and Wall Street Banks behind the push to bring workers back to the office. COVID-19 was described as becoming "manageable," while the need for face-to-face collaboration was stressed.

However, subsequent weeks showed a minimal uptick in back-to-office trends.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work was most often a perk reserved for top executives and the upper echelons of tech work. Workers have been reluctant to give up their newfound workplace flexibility, according to some of the only available data on office occupancy rates.

That data comes from Kastle Systems, a commercial office building tech services company. Its systems showed employers in major cities outside of Texas have struggled to get more than 50% of workers back into physical offices. Where Austin, Houston, and Dallas have seen the highest occupancy rates, San Jose, California; San Francisco; and Philadelphia have had some of the lowest office occupancy levels compared to pre-pandemic.

Stacker used Census Bureau data to explore changes in teleworking trends across the U.S. Drawing from the Household Pulse Survey, we analyzed data for each state showing how many people live in a household where someone was teleworking. This story focuses on showing the percentage of people who live in a household where someone teleworks three or more times per week, along with households where no one is working from home.

In the early weeks of the pandemic, office occupancies ebbed and flowed with each wave of illness. Now, nearly 1 in 5 U.S. employees is working from home most of the time, according to November Census Pulse survey data.

The fewest employees reported heading back into offices in southern and midwestern states. They're states with higher gas prices, many rural and remote communities, and large influxes of new residents who flocked to the areas during the pandemic housing boom.

States are ranked by the change between Nov. 2-14, 2022 (most recent data available), and June 1-13, 2022 (the oldest data available), for the percentage of people living in a household where someone teleworks three or more times per week.

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#51. Arkansas

Interior of modern empty office building.

August_0802 // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 198,094 (9%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -26%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 1,769,442 (78%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +6%

#50. Kentucky

Closeup of a man in an office holding a briefcase and a surgical mask in his hand.

nito // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 354,315 (10%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -24%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 2,557,569 (75%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +5%

#49. Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA downtown skyline in the afternoon.

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 667,371 (15%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -23%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 3,136,917 (69%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +6%

#48. Delaware

View of the skyline of downtown Wilmington.

quiggyt4 // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 119,995 (15%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -20%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 492,341 (63%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -2%

#47. Oregon

Front view of an office interior with a row of dark wood tables.

ImageFlow // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 776,756 (23%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -19%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 2,098,875 (63%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +9%

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#46. Washington D.C.

Pennsylvania Ave to US Capitol going towards US Capitol in Washington DC.

Joseph Sohm // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 210,770 (43%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -18%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 193,514 (39%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +13%

#45. Connecticut

Headphones hanging on cubicle partition in empty office.

Tyler Olson // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 589,075 (21%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -18%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 1,707,391 (61%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +2%

#44. Virginia

Welcome back note with hand sanitizer and mask on work keyboard.

pooiek // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 1,428,398 (22%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -18%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 4,086,912 (62%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +10%

#43. Maine

Portland, Maine, USA downtown city skyline at dusk.

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 181,511 (16%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -16%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 771,548 (70%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +3%

#42. Pennsylvania

Modern office interior.

LI CHAOSHU // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 1,847,212 (19%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -16%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 6,379,144 (64%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +3%

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#41. Illinois

Empty office room with closeup of chair.

Kristi Blokhin // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 1,982,584 (21%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -14%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 6,173,384 (65%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +11%

#40. Utah

Closeup of Welcome Note on Takeaway Coffee Cup in Office Desk.

Black Salmon // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 630,825 (26%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -14%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 1,375,158 (57%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +10%

#39. New Mexico

Large open plan office interior without people.

Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 203,391 (13%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -14%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 1,180,958 (73%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +5%

#38. California

Traffic on Powell Street in San Fransisco.

ChameleonsEye // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 6,242,828 (21%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -13%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 18,395,048 (62%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +1%

#37. Massachusetts

People walking to cross the road in the city at Boston, USA.

2p2play // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 1,298,030 (24%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -13%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 3,066,948 (57%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +2%

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#36. Florida

Office corridor with doors running along it.

Roman Dementyev // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 3,117,361 (18%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -12%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 11,456,144 (66%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +1%

#35. Mississippi

Woman coming back to work while carrying box with her belongings.

bbernard // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 138,227 (6%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -12%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 1,769,627 (81%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +3%

#34. Iowa

Modern cozy loft office interior.

Zastolskiy Victor // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 349,618 (15%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -11%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 1,690,587 (71%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +2%

#33. Idaho

Main office of Simplot corporation.

Charles Knowles // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 233,507 (16%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -11%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 1,013,786 (70%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -2%

#32. South Dakota

Aerial View of Rapid City, South Dakota in Summer.

Jacob Boomsma // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 97,283 (15%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -10%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 492,385 (75%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +8%

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#31. Michigan

The Michigan State Capitol.

SNEHIT PHOTO // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 1,331,281 (17%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -10%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 5,161,372 (67%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +3%

#30. North Carolina

Top view of white cubicles in modern office with white walls and carpeted floor.

ImageFlow // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 1,609,623 (20%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -10%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 5,154,734 (64%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -2%

#29. Washington

Wooden table with computers, lamps, coffee mugs and stationery.

GingerKitten // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 1,510,763 (25%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -9%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 3,628,888 (61%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +6%

#28. North Dakota

State Capitol of North Dakota in Bismarck.

Traveller70 // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 59,019 (10%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -8%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 439,662 (78%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +7%

#27. Ohio

Columbus, Ohio, USA skyline on the Scioto River.

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 1,615,385 (18%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -8%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 6,087,656 (68%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +3%

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#26. Kansas

Interior of modern empty office building.

PhotoMavenStock // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 367,353 (17%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -7%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 1,558,454 (72%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +7%

#25. Nevada

Empty office cubicles and chairs.

06photo // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 346,557 (14%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -6%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 1,737,026 (71%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: 0%

#24. Nebraska

Businessman with crate box full of office supplies.

bbernard // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 223,386 (15%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -6%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 990,626 (69%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +2%

#23. Tennessee

View of the Memphis, Tennessee city skyline from a park in the downtown area.

Steven Frame // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 859,717 (16%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -6%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 3,764,761 (70%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +1%

#22. Indiana

Indiana State Capitol Building in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 720,222 (14%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -5%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 3,644,201 (72%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +4%

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#21. Minnesota

Empty Modern Open Plan Office.

Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 1,025,041 (24%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -4%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 2,574,011 (60%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +3%

#20. Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA downtown skyline in the afternoon.

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 433,975 (15%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -3%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 2,200,751 (74%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +7%

#19. Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland, USA downtown cityscape at dusk.

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 1,256,679 (27%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -3%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 2,514,592 (54%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -3%

#18. Missouri

Trendy modern open concept loft office space with big windows.

Kelleher Photography // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 787,799 (17%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -3%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 3,136,163 (67%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -1%

#17. Texas

Aerial view of the financial hart of Dallas Texas at dusk

A G Baxter // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 4,596,526 (21%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -3%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 13,147,707 (60%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -4%

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#16. Georgia

Skyline of downtown Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

f11photo // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 1,599,841 (20%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -2%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 5,163,863 (63%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -4%

#15. Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island cityscape at Waterplace Park.

ESB Professional // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 171,717 (20%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -2%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 568,195 (67%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +8%

#14. New Jersey

Modern business office interior containing tables and chairs, computers and office supplies.

mavo // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 1,764,024 (25%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -2%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 4,122,072 (58%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +3%

#13. New York

Businessman crossing the street on crosswalk

Nick Starichenko // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 3,039,256 (20%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: 0%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 9,164,418 (61%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -1%

#12. Montana

Modern office interior.

06photo // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 138,776 (16%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +3%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 617,545 (71%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -4%

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#11. New Hampshire

Brady Sullivan Plaza building in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire.

Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 246,185 (22%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +4%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 691,838 (62%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -1%

#10. Louisiana

Empty cubicles in an office.

Gill Thompson // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 373,577 (11%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +4%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 2,535,462 (74%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -3%

#9. Hawaii

Hawaii palms and buildings.

Guy Banville // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 190,301 (17%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +9%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 764,355 (70%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +3%

#8. Arizona

Phoenix Arizona skyline.

Andrew Zarivny // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 1,499,247 (27%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +9%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 3,329,110 (59%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -2%

#7. Colorado

Empty workstation used for call center.

DC Studio // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 1,308,897 (29%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +10%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 2,591,556 (57%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -2%

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#6. Vermont

View of Main St. in Montpelier, VT.

Albert Pego // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 127,986 (25%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +16%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 310,023 (61%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -7%

#5. Alabama

Mobile, Alabama, USA downtown skyline.

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 508,355 (13%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +17%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 2,799,331 (73%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +1%

#4. West Virginia

Empty office chairs in a row.

a40757 // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 152,406 (11%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +20%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 1,089,461 (79%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +5%

#3. South Carolina

Greenville, South Carolina, USA downtown buildings.

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 620,502 (15%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +24%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 2,771,019 (69%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -8%

#2. Alaska

Downtown Anchorage, Alaska city skyline at twilight time during winter.

Marcus Biastock // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 99,564 (19%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +25%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 362,127 (68%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: -7%

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#1. Wyoming

Call center equipment on a table at a office.

Amnaj Khetsamtip // Shutterstock

- People living in a household where someone teleworks 3+ times per week (Nov. 2-14): 47,613 (11%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +30%
- People living in a household where no one works from home (Nov. 2-14): 341,712 (78%)
--- Change from June 1-13, 2022: +3%