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Majority of US workers want to continue working from home, survey shows

A new survey from getAbstract reflects ongoing predictions that the workplace may never look the same after the pandemic -- making it "almost impossible" to return to what is was before.  (Getty Images)

A recent study conducted by getAbstract shows that a majority of U.S. employees would prefer to continue working from home even after the pandemic subsides. Nearly 43% of survey respondents reported they want to change their work schedules after businesses begin to reopen, transitioning to remote work. 

The survey reflects ongoing predictions that the workplace may never look the same after the pandemic — making it “almost impossible” to return to what is was before. 

The online survey was conducted between April 16-17 and included more than 1,200 full-time employees in the U.S. — all of which are working remotely amid the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders. Respondents represented roughly an equal number of men and women, ranging across the scale of income levels and careers. 

“Our survey is the tip of the iceberg on the seismic, long term changes the coronavirus pandemic is bringing to how people work, cities develop and employers invest in offices and technology,” said Andrew Savikas, chief strategy officer, in a statement.

Benefits of working from home

Of those participants, about half reported they had not worked from home prior to the pandemic. However, a majority of those employees note they want to continue working from home. 

Here’s why: 

  • 55.27% said it’s because they don’t have to commute
  • 48.32% said it’s because their schedule is more flexible 
  • 36.79% said it’s because they’re more productive
  • 34.27% said it’s because they have more time for family and friends
  • 30.46% said it’s because they have more time for hobbies or exercising
  • 27.79% said it’s because their performance is better
  • 20% said they don’t want to work remotely
  • 3.59% reported other reasons

The downsides

Despite the high number of employees wanting to work from home, they acknowledge there are some downsides. About 27% report working remotely causes them to feel isolated, with roughly 19% saying it’s difficult to feel connected to the company. 

Other employees (20.08%) report telecommuting technology “doesn’t always work well,” which would prompt them to return to their physical office. 

“Virus-related health and safety concerns, however, were not top-of-mind for a majority of respondents,” according to the study. “Only 25% said they did not feel safe returning to the office after the pandemic.”