This is not the workplace it used to be…..
More people are choosing to work from home because they want to, even if their office is open and they’re less concerned about Covid risks.
According to a January survey of 5,889 workers, 61% of people working from home today say they’re not going into their workplace because they don’t want to, and 38% say their office is closed. It’s a reversal from October 2020, when 64% of people were working from home because their office was closed, and 36% were doing so out of preference.
Even as more offices open up, people are making a conscious choice to work from home, rather than just out of necessity.
Remote workers report better balance, more productivity
Teleworkers say they’re choosing to stay home for better work-life balance, productivity or because they’ve relocated away from the office. Fewer people say Covid is the main reason why they’re working from home (42% now vs. 57% in 2020). Roughly one-third of parents cite child care as a major reason they telework. And most say working from home hasn’t impacted their ability to advance in their career.
There are downsides, though: 60% of remote workers feel less connected to their colleagues.
With that said, today’s remote workers feel more strongly than ever about making it permanent: 78% of people mostly working from home want to continue doing so after the pandemic, up from 64% in 2020.
A growing share of workers also say they don’t have a workplace outside the home. It’s too early to be sure, but this could indicate employers are getting rid of their offices over time, more people are taking remote jobs that aren’t attached to a location at all.
Accounting for the pros and cons, “when you look at the fact that a vast majority want to continue working from home in the future, you can see people are making tradeoffs in their mind and are seeing flexibility as more valuable than coworker connection.”
Some people need offices to be productive
The share of people who have the option to work remotely but are choosing to go to the office most of the time is a small but interesting group. These individuals say they do so because they’re more productive in an office and have more space to work.
A much smaller share, 14%, say their primary reason to return to offices is because they’re worried about losing work opportunities while at home; 9% say they feel pressured to from their boss or coworkers.
In-person workers remain concerned about virus exposure
Importantly, the majority of workers, 60%, don’t have jobs that can be done from home. About half of those who work in-person say they’re concerned about being exposed to Covid.
Most people going into a workplace today are at least somewhat satisfied with their employer’s Covid health and safety measures, but it varies by age, race and income. Workers who are 65 and older, white and upper-income are far more likely to be “very satisfied” with workplace Covid safety those who are younger than 30, Black, Hispanic or lower income.
Employer vaccine requirements don’t seem to change these views. About 39% of workers with a vaccine requirement and 35% of workers without one say they are “very satisfied” with their employer’s Covid safety precautions.
Do things to do to improve office and production areas to help employees to return and stay at work
• Improve work space environments – update computers and monitors (many people like dual monitors to improve work screen space).
• Update office seating – use more ergonomic chairs vs the office depot $99 special chair
• Heated foot rests help in colder offices or near windows during colder months
• Update lighting with softer, more efficient LED lighting – less eye strain and more energy efficient
• Use more printers – no one likes to share a printer with 25 other people in an office.
• Make sure your kitchen area and break room have “free snacks” – pop tarts, fruit, granola bars, etc. – we have breakfast sandwiches in freezers, so if anyone misses a breakfast they can just grab one
• Actually ask people what type of coffee’s they like and stock for your Kuering Coffee Makers.
• Walk through your production areas and “actually look” what can be improved…make sure there are fatigue mats in place so people are comfortable in work areas, if seating is used make sure up to date and comfortable (not same chair for last 20 years)
• Add or update lighting in production areas.
• Water Coolers – may seem like a simple thing, but people drink water (lots) and are more alert and healthy if they do.