Most employees expect working from home to be the norm in the future

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As one survey shows, if employees have their way, work from home is here to stay.

Image: iStock/AnnaStills

According to a new Zoom/Survey Monkey survey most remote workers (65%) prefer a hybrid model, splitting their time between going to the office and working from home. One third of respondents would prefer to spend most of their work time at the office, while one-third of respondents would prefer to be at home most of the time. 

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most employees (72%) believe their employers will institute a more relaxed work-from-home policy once the pandemic ends. Just 20% of respondents said they prefer to work from the office full-time, while only 15% of respondents said they’d prefer to work from home full-time. Technology workers buck this finding a little bit. A quarter (24%) said they would prefer to work from home full time. 

The preference of younger employees, however, is to split their time between the office and home, with more of that time spent in the office. Just 10% said they’d like to be back in the office full time. About half (46%) or respondents said their jobs allowed them to work from home before the pandemic, while 54% said they were only working from home because of the pandemic. 

SEE: COVID-19 workplace policy (TechRepublic Premium)

The vast majority (80%) believe their employers will let them work the schedules they want post-pandemic. This comes as two-thirds of respondents said they have been consulted on their employers’ plans for returning people to the office but most (60%) have no idea when that might be. Of those who do know, most (59%) said March is the month they will be returning to the office, 10% said April and the remainder is spread out between May and October.

Most respondents (66%) say they are “eager” to return to work in person. This is twice the number who said they’re “dreading” returning in-person work (31%). 

Education workers are the most eager to return to the office (73%), while just 47% of government workers held that sentiment. Among tech workers, 58% said they want to get back to the office, while 40% said the opposite.

Most respondents (58%) said they are using collaboration tools more now than this time last year but only 53% said those tools have made their jobs easier. Workers older than 65 were more likely to say collaboration tools did not make doing their jobs easier.

SEE: Big data’s role in COVID-19 (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Survey methodology 

This SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted Feb. 24 – 28, 2021, among a national sample of 1,560 employed adults who have been working from home either full or part time. Data were weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States.

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