Since the coronavirus started a few months ago and shelter-in-place orders went into effect around the world, one side effect has been a seismic shift from people working in offices to work-from-home arrangements. Now that working remotely has become the norm, many employees understandably don’t want to return to the old way of working.
New survey results from University of Phoenix, found that more than half of workers (54%) who have been working from home during the shelter-in-place orders have negative feelings about returning to the office, including being worried, nervous, hesitant, or overwhelmed. The findings also revealed that many are reevaluating what they do for work.
Of those who are employed, 43% say COVID-19 has caused them to reevaluate what they currently do for work. Of those, 51% would prefer a job where they can work remotely, or that is less public-facing (34%). Of those currently unemployed, 41% saying they would prefer a job where they can work remotely, or that is less public-facing (34%).
A major survey of more than 25,000 U.S. adults by IBM had similar findings about remote work, revealing that 54% want remote work to be their primary way of working. Over three quarters said they want the ability to work remotely at least some of the time, and around 40% feel strongly that their employer should provide employee “opt-in” remote work options.
And a recent Gallup poll released the headline “U.S. Workers Discovering an Affinity for Remote Work.” The poll found that three in five workers who have been doing their job from home during the pandemic want to keep working this way “as much as possible.”
To get behind some employee sentiments about the potential of returning to an office and the strong preference to continue work-from-home arrangements that many workers are expressing, Remote.co surveyed recent news stories on this growing trend, and gathered the following quotes about what people want their employers to know about the importance of virtual work, given both the productivity and personal benefits of working from home, and the health risks of coronavirus in indoor workplace settings.
Respite from Office Politics
Jeff Anderson shared with The New York Times (NYT) that “working from home during the coronavirus pandemic has been a respite from office politics and the chatter around the copy machine.” The NYT reported that Anderson began experiencing “feelings of dread around the idea of returning to the office” as the push to reopen the economy began. As the NYT published: “Just walking from the parking lot to my office I feel like I could be sick,” he said. “It’s that bad.”
More Time for Both Work and Self-Care
Also in the NYT piece, Christine Reilley shared that while before the pandemic, she had to arise each morning at 4:30 to commute to work, now she is “better rested” and “can devote more time to work.” “Just saving the time and money of commuting, I really like this personally,” she told the NYT.
“Takes the Edge Off the Second Shift”
Laura Hamill shared with CNBC Make It that working from home “takes the edge off the second shift” in explaining how working remotely has been a “huge advantage” for her as a parent to two teenagers. “I can start the dishwasher in the middle of the day or I can put out the chicken to cook for a later meal,” she told CNBC.
Easier Logistics with Technology
Graeme Archer wrote in UnHerd: “Do we need offices, at all? I’ve found it easier, not harder, to keep leading my own global team. From 1-on-1 catch-ups, to management team meetings, to seminars and town halls and performance reviews: every aspect of managing a group of globally distributed workers has been easier to conduct from the study at home than from a hastily-booked ‘meeting space’ cubicle at the fringes of the open-plan hell.”
More Moments of Daily Meaning
Roberto Hernandez wrote in Medium: “I hate the idea of returning to the office. The idea itself makes me feel sad. This sort of thought doesn’t mean I don’t want to see, talk, or ask random stuff to my closest coworker at the office at all. Certainly, I miss doing a few things I used to do, like talking a little bit while we were queuing to get a cup of coffee at the coffee machine or playing ping-pong. However, deep down, there are more powerful reasons why I don’t want to return to the office.”
Hernandez specified that returning to the office would require “losing many meaningful things that have become an essential part of [his] day-to-day.” Those include:
- Eating lunch at home with his spouse
- Building a comfortable at-home workspace
- Being able to hug his son during the day
- Saving time and money
Hernandez concluded in his Medium article: “Working from home will not be the new way of working but simply the normal way.”
Is Working From Home in Your Future?
Working from home can have many benefits. And thankfully, there are hundreds of remote-friendly companies that already hire strictly for work-from-home jobs. That’s where we can help!
Remote.co offers fully remote jobs in more than 15 career categories.
By Robin Madell | July 1, 2020 | Categories: Work Remotely
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