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R.I.P. The Old Ways of Work

Ghosts, zombies, and werewolves aren’t the spookiest things this Halloween season. As risen-from-the-dead CEO Jack McDichaels proves in our new ad campaign, operating under the old rules of work is downright scary for businesses and professionals alike! In the new anthem, “This Is How We Work Now,” Jack reveals that a bunch of dead guys made up work way back when and challenges people to make up something better.

To understand just how scary the old ways of work are and how we can make something better, our latest research asks professionals about the haunting sides of work. Using a new survey of 200 professionals, Upwork finds that 41% of professionals, equating to 62.7 million Americans, say prioritizing work over life should be ‘dead.'1

With the popularity of the term “quiet quitting” and estimates that anywhere from a quarter to half of U.S. workers are part of the trend, our research sheds light on perhaps the main motivator of this movement. Professionals no longer accept that work leaves them feeling like zombies for their home lives and they’re ready to flip the switch.

Beyond just prioritizing their lives, people are also ready to drop some other old ideas of work in search of more freedom and autonomy. Other top aspects that professionals felt should be ‘dead’ include; having meetings for everything (34%), only hiring in-person professionals (30%), and having to work 9-to-5 hours (27%)

Another aspect that many are looking to put to rest is the idea of going into an office. When asked directly, 38% of professionals agreed that going into an office should be dead. While this leaves 62% who see some value in going to the office sometimes, we also followed up to find out people’s thoughts on remote work.

As it turns out, sweets are not just for kids. When asked whether people view remote work as a ‘trick’ or a ‘treat,’ 75% of them said that remote work is a treat. This is certainly something to consider for those who may be evaluating their return-to-office plans.

And what do people find so sweet about remote? For starters, not dealing with aspects that can be downright scary. When asked about which aspects of working in an office ‘haunted’ people most, 31% of people ranked commuting. This is followed closely by 30% who said in-office politics ‘haunt’ them.

Whether it’s spooky season or not, our survey shows that it’s time to shed the repressive old rules or work and create something that serves businesses and professionals alike. The old rules of work are dead, don’t let them haunt your business any longer. 

Find out how to get started, and have a Happy Halloween!


The study was conducted using Google Consumer Surveys. 217 U.S. working adults over the age of 18 were surveyed online between October 4, 2022 – October 18, 2022. Results were weighted using a two-step process to ensure each survey’s representativeness.

1Based on 153 million non-farm payrolls as of September 2022.