U.S. employees who shifted to remote work during the pandemic have been more productive than they expected due to the lack of a commute, fewer interruptions and an improved work-life balance, according to a Nintex Workplace 2021 study.

About 70 percent of 1,000 workers surveyed at companies with 501 to 50,000-plus employees said their experience has been better and more productive than they expected, the report said.

Sixty-seven percent said there have been more efficient while working at home and 41 percent of those workers reported they are getting their work done in fewer hours per week versus working in the office.

In addition, 39 percent of those polled said better access to software that can help them automate manual and repetitive tasks would help ameliorate their worklife this year.

The study also found that despite the positives of working from home, 56 percent of those surveyed are “excited” about the prospect of returning to the office once it becomes an option, while 51 percent said their worklife would improve with the ability to permanently work remotely.

To be more productive, 49 percent of remote workers said they need a more flexible work schedule. Better hardware equipment for the home office was cited by 44 percent, while 34 percent noted a desire for a four-day workweek.

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