More Americans are choosing to work from home instead of going to the office, study finds
The coronavirus pandemic has upended the average work environment, rapidly shifting from in-person offices to remote work, and new research suggests that Americans prefer to be able to work from home.
Research recently published by the Pew Research Center which surveyed about 10,000 Americans from January 24-30 found that nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, about 6 in 10 American workers who say their work can be done from home, at 59% , do it at home all or most of the time. Now, more workers report working from home by choice than by necessity.
Of those who have a workplace outside their home, 61% said they choose not to enter, while 38% said they work from home specifically because their workplace is closed or unavailable.
Interestingly, Pew Research noted that the opposite was true at the start of the pandemic, with 64% of people indicating they were working from home because their office was closed, while 36% said they were choosing to work from home. .
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The reasons why more Americans are choosing to work from home over the office vary, with 42% citing exposure to COVID-19, while 76% said it was simply their preference to work from home all the time. or most of the time.
Remote working has given workers newfound flexibility, with Pew Research finding that 64% of those who work from home at least part of the time but rarely did before the pandemic say it’s now easier to balance work with their personal life.
Pew Research also found that there was a significant increase in the percentage of people who said that having moved away from the area where they worked was one of the main reasons they currently work remotely, up to 17% compared to 9. % in 2020.
However, Pew Research found that most American workers, about 60%, don’t have work that can be done from home, which forces them to go to their place of work at least sometimes. About half of those workers who have ever interacted with others in their workplace say they are very worried about being exposed to COVID-19, at 19%, and 32% are somewhat worried.
Separate data from Gallup found similar trends, with 45% of full-time employees working partially or fully remotely in September 2021, while 9 in 10 remote workers said they wanted to maintain remote work to some degree. Gallup also found that employers risk losing talent if they don’t allow remote work.
Gallup’s poll found that 3 in 10 employees say they are extremely likely to find another job if their current company eliminates remote working.
Businesses are trying to decide on the best decision to make, like Microsoft, which announced it would require employees to return to its Washington state-based offices by March in a hybrid work environment. Most Microsoft employees will be able to work from home up to 50% of the time.
“We know there is no one-size-fits-all solution to how people work best, which is why we believe flexibility should be at the forefront of our evolving hybrid workplace,” said Microsoft, in a company blog post.
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