With the COVID now less of a threat, employees working from home are now being asked to return to the office. However, a majority seem to prefer not to, even as the pandemic fears are beginning to fade.
The Pew Research Center conducted a study involving 5,889 American adults between January 24 to 30. Respondents are either working part-time or full-time in a single primary job.
61% of Employees Working From Home Choose To Continue Doing So
According to a survey released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center, work-from-home options remain popular. Among Americans with jobs having remote options, 59% say they are still working from home much or all the time.
The number is fewer than the 71% who gave the same answer last October 2020. At the same time, this is well above the 23% who replied the same before the pandemic happened.
Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority of 61% of workers with offices choose to continue working from home. The remainder said they’re working from home because their office remains closed or unavailable.
Given the choice, 60% of employees say that they would prefer to continue working from home when the pandemic ends. This is up from 54% in 2020.
Reason To Work From Home Shifted Since 2020
In addition, the impetus for remote work changed between today and 2020. More employees at present say they want to work from home by choice rather than necessity.
Earlier in the pandemic, 64% said they work from home because their offices were shut down. Back then, only 35% of workers chose to remotely work.
The key question remains: why do employees prefer to work at home instead of at the office.
The survey discovered that there is more than a single reason to do so. 42% of employees say they remain fearful of exposure to COVID. This is down from 57% in 2020 when most people didn’t understand the nature of coronavirus.
However, the bigger reason cited by respondents is that they simply prefer working from home. This is the overwhelming response of 76% of respondents.
76% Of Employees Simply Prefer Working From Home
For many workers, their new location helped establish the decision. 17% say they relocated since the pandemic. This makes it impractical for them to return to the office.
In 2020, only 9% of respondents said the same thing. Meanwhile, 38% said that they are parents of children under 18 who lack child care. Another 15% said restrictions to access to their workplace remain in effect.
Among Americans who rarely worked from home before the pandemic, 64% said that their work-life balance improved considerably.
Productivity-wise, 44% said that work from home made it easier for them to finish assignments and meet deadlines. In contrast, 60% also reported they feel less connected to their co-workers.
Watch the Yahoo Finance video featuring Charlie Munger, who said that some workplace changes ‘are here forever’
Do you have an option to work from home? If yes, do you prefer to work from home instead of reporting back to the office? What is your main reason for choosing remote work?
Tell us what you think. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.