Obviously, there are plenty of people out there that don’t have the option to work from home – from our trash collectors to our doctors and nurses, and even those who cut our hair, and make our to-go orders! But, millions of Americans have gotten very comfortable working from home.
If you are an employer thinking, “Well, too bad! I want you back in the office,” you might want to take a look at a new “Return to Work” survey conducted by RingCentral and Ipsos. Some of their insights are fascinating.
The research found that employees would rather do these fun things instead of returning to the office full-time:
But as 2021 draws to a close, only 12% of those surveyed think they will have the same freedom to work from anywhere in 2022. And even more eye-opening – 1 out of every 3 Americans says they will leave their current job if they are forced back in-house full-time.
The survey also found a big disconnect between people in different places on the org chart. 46% of decisions makers felt lonely and isolated while working from home, and even more say it affected their ability to connect with employees and to do their jobs well. Only 34% of other employees reported feeling that way.
All of this hesitancy is not necessarily about safety. A full 80% of workers feel their employers have created safe office spaces, but 50% say meeting co-workers in person makes them feel anxious.
When you take that anxiety away, a clear majority of people – especially parents- say they are happier at work now than before the pandemic. They also say the experience of working remotely has made them more empathic towards other people.
So, what does this tell us about the future of the workplace? It seems pretty clear that hybrid work is here to stay and that employees want to have more control over how they manage their time. Companies might want to start working pro-actively with their teams to determine the best way to move forward.
Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.