work from home forever

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on the nation’s workforce, and one of the biggest changes is in the amount of people that are now working from home.

A new survey has found that the majority of working professionals who were forced to start working remotely due to the pandemic would like to continue to do so after it has subsided, while 29% of professionals said they would quit if their employer decided not to allow telecommuting.

The study by LiveCareer.com found that going forward 62% of professionals when looking for jobs in the future would look for companies that allow them to work remotely. During the beginning of the pandemic, it was a shock to the system of many people who were suddenly pulled from their offices and told to plug in from home.

But almost a year since the nationwide health emergency started, working professionals have gotten used to not commuting, working in shorts and a T-shirt and meeting with their colleagues on Zoom.  The study found that:

  • 81% of employees today enjoy working remotely.
  • 65% state that remote work has positively affected their work-life balance.
  • 60% of working professionals say they are more productive when working from home.

The study found that nearly 61% of workers who are now working remotely want their employer to let them continue. Despite that, 79% of working professionals said their company plans to return to on-site work eventually.

If they do have to return to work, how many days a week would professionals like to be office-based?

  • Three days ― 30%
  • Two days ― 25%
  • One day – 19%
  • Four days ― 9%

What’s driving the numbers?

Many people who reluctantly started working from home have now come to embrace it. The most cited reasons for enjoying remote work are:

  • Flexibility ― 64%
  • Improved work-life balance ― 44%
  • Feeling safer ― 40%
  • Being more productive ― 29%
  • Being able to acquire new career-related skills ― 10%

Working professionals in the retail, wholesale and distribution sectors said an improved feeling of safety plays a more central role, arguably due to the nature of their day-to-day work, with as many as 59% saying they feel safer when working from home.

Looking forward

It’s clear that many companies will want their staff to start working from the office or at the worksite once the pandemic is in the rear-view mirror. But, it light of the above results, employers may be wondering what it would take to get people to want to work in the office again. Here’s what the survey found:

  • Pay raise
  • More paid time off
  • Free food, snacks, and coffee
  • Reimbursed commute
  • More flexible schedule
  • Higher safety precautions for COVID-19
  • Improved office space (e.g., a better chair, private office)
  • More opportunities to socialize with colleagues
  • Casual dress code.