A year and a half into the pandemic-spurred shift to remote work, a large number of U.S. employees are clear on one thing: They don’t want to return to the office — ever.
In fact, about three-quarters (76 percent) of workers “would jump at the chance to work from home permanently,” and 71 percent don’t miss the the office at all, according to a survey commissioned by Kintone, a digital platform for teams.
Telecommuting staff are so satisfied with the work arrangement that 72 percent said they wouldn’t even consider working for a company that didn’t offer flexible work-from-home policies, the study added.
It’s no wonder American employees don’t want to return to the office. Of those polled, 71 percent said they have a better work-life balance now than prior to the pandemic. Almost half stated that a company’s remote work policy is their most desired perk.
“People are embracing remote work more than ever before. Workplace norms have shifted and employees are expecting to have a more robust work-life balance,” Kintone CEO Dave Landa, said in the study.
Visibility isn’t impaired
Remote employees also are happy to have flexibility in their schedule (45 percent), along with the ability to take breaks anytime (44 percent). The average break time of those polled was about every 2 1/2 hours, the survey found.
Visibility also doesn’t appear to be problematic for remote staff. Almost half of those polled reported having more recognition since they began remote work.
But all is not rosy when it comes to working remotely, the study revealed.
Thirty-six percent reported that their job had become more difficult because of remote work, the survey found.
Some of that was attributed to not having the right office equipment (35 percent), difficulty communicating with coworkers (36 percent) or having too many distractions (34 percent).
Work-related communication, which 52 percent of the workers polled labeled as “key,” has suffered, the report said.
Fifty-seven percent believe that work-related communication is more productive in an office environment, while more than a third (36 percent) attests that “it has been a strain to effectively communicate with their leadership about career matters,” the study found.
Workers also outlined three items they would like to purchase to improve their remote experience: an internet upgrade (48 percent), a new computer (40 percent) or a new desk/workstation (38 percent).
Along with communication issues, employees experienced other sources of dissatisfaction during remote work, the survey said. One in five felt unhappy with how their company addressed employees’ needs while they worked from home.
‘Address challenges head on’
To address some of this dissatisfaction, 43 percent of employees said having companies cover their utility bills would improve their experiences, while an additional 41 percent expressed a desire for a new computer or laptop.
“Every major transformation like this comes with hurdles and uncertainties,” Landa said. “In the end, the benefits of happier, more satisfied employees will justify the efforts to address these challenges head on. Employers should create policies and find solutions to meet these concerns and strengthen communications so that remote and hybrid work experiences will only improve in the post-pandemic era.”
The Kintone survey polled 2,000 U.S. employees working remotely. It didn’t provide the date of when the study was conducted.