Working from Home Through 2021 and Beyond

Various surveys have found that many people working from home would rather continue doing so post-pandemic. According to a study by Barrero, Bloom, and Davis with about 22,500 responses from May to December 2020, 30.5 percent of respondents who experienced working from home want to work from home five days a week even after the pandemic, 15.1 percent prefer two days a week, 14.4 percent prefer three days a week, 11.2 prefer once a month, 11 prefer once a week, and 7.5 percent prefer 4 days a week. If allowed to continue working from home after the pandemic, 65.2 percent view it as a benefit equal to a raise.

A Gallup poll shows that from October 2020 to April 2021, 72 percent of U.S. full-time white-collar employees were working from home either all the time or some of the time. A majority prefer to continue working remotely. But the percentages vary by occupation, with 54 percent in the computer and mathematical industry; 45 percent in life, physical, and social sciences; 45 percent in arts, design, entertainment, and media; 41 percent in finance, insurance, real estate, and consulting; 38 percent in law; 33 percent in architecture and engineering; 32 percent in clerical jobs; 31 percent in community or social services; 20 percent in education, training, and libraries; 20 percent in sales; and 18 percent in healthcare.

FlexJobs surveyed 2,181 respondents from March 17 to April 5, 2021. Almost three-fourths or 72 percent live in the U.S., four percent live in Canada, and 24 percent live elsewhere. Among all respondents, 65 percent stated that they want to continue to work remotely full-time after the pandemic, with 58 percent stating that they will look for another remote job if they are not allowed to do so. Most or 84 percent identified not having to commute as the top benefit of remote work, while 75 percent cited savings. Of the latter, 38 percent stated that they saved at least $5,000 the entire year, while 20 percent stated that they saved $10,000.

The financial benefits of money saved are a huge deal, but remote workers also value the time saved from a commute. For instance, once work hours are over, gamers can immediately switch from their work laptop to their gaming computer. Those with partners and children at home can immediately give time to their loved ones. Instead of hurrying to go to work in the morning, they can sleep more or have a leisurely breakfast.

Higher Productivity and Development from Remote Work

Barrero, Bloom, and Davis stated that remote work would boost the post-pandemic economy by five percent because of the time saved from commuting. They found that remote workers still use up 35 percent of that time working on their main job.

According to the Barrero, Bloom, and Davis study, 61.5 percent of remote workers stated that working from home exceeded their expectations on productivity. When compared to working in the office, 39.9 stated that they worked more efficiently from home, while 45.1 percent stated that it was the same. According to the FlexJobs survey, 55 percent of respondents stated that their productivity increased with remote work.

Employers recognize this gain in productivity. Conference Board surveyed 231 human resource leaders from April 5 to 16 and shared the results only with USA TODAY. Among the companies polled, 59 percent stated that their productivity rose from 23 percent in April 2020 to 47 percent in September. They attributed this to their remote workers producing more products and services.

Besides being more productive, remote workers focused on self-improvement during the pandemic. In the FlexJobs survey, 90 percent of respondents sought some type of learning. Fifty-one 51 percent took online courses for professional development, 47 percent learned some remote working tools, 44 percent learned professional skills, 41 percent joined online professional development events, 28 percent studied for or earned a certification, 22 percent did volunteer work or internships, and seven percent studied for or earned a degree.

What Employers Plan to Do

According to the Conference Board survey, 79 percent of large businesses stated that they would allow 10 percent or more of their current employees to work remotely for three days a week or more post-pandemic. Among these, 38 percent are willing to have 40 percent or more of remote workers, 25 percent are willing to have 20 to 39 percent, 15 percent are willing to have 10 to 19 percent, and 22 percent are willing to have nine percent or less.

Among the 231 companies surveyed, 87 percent stated that they were willing to hire new remote employees. Among them, 55 percent want those remote employees to be able to come to the office occasionally, 25 percent will hire remote workers from anywhere in the country, and seven percent will hire remote workers from anywhere in the world.

Working from Home in the New Normal

With many employers seeing the advantages of having remote workers, those who prefer to work from home will have many job options. This is a boon, especially for those seeking long-term remote work to move for lower expenses, a better climate, and a better quality of life.

Meta title: The Future of Remote Work
meta desc: Many employees who are currently doing their jobs remotely or have experienced doing so prefer to continue with this type of employment even after the pandemic.

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