Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
“2021 was the year the world stayed remote” when 70 percent of full-time workers in the United States worked remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 90 percent of these remote workers felt they were as productive – or more so – working remotely compared to the office, according to the “State of Remote Work 2021” survey.
Collaborative tech company Owl Labs and remote work analytics firm Global Workplace Analytics surveyed more than 2,000 full-time workers to offer a “look at how U.S. employees feel about remote and hybrid work, how their behaviors have evolved since the pandemic, and how employers are adjusting to new hybrid expectations.”
The survey revealed remote workers can be “highly productive and possibly over-worked” since 55 percent of these workers said they spent more hours working remotely than at their physical office. The survey found that only one percent of employees that worked from home during the pandemic said they were less productive.
The survey also found 71 percent of employees wanted a hybrid or remote working style after the pandemic and one in three workers said they would quit their job if they could not work remotely after the pandemic. Meanwhile, only 29 percent viewed being in the office full-time post-pandemic as a preferred working arrangement.
The survey revealed that one in four of these workers had already changed jobs or were actively seeking a new opportunity for a variety of reasons that included a better career opportunity, better work and life balance, better compensation, less stress, more flexibility in where they work, and more flexibility when they work.
At the same time, managers were still somewhat skeptical of remote work. For managers of remote workers, the survey revealed 36 percent were concerned about employee productivity and 36 percent worried about reduced focus. Nearly half of managers overseeing remote workers were concerned about employee engagement.
The survey also exposed a gap between the preferred working arrangements of employees versus what their employers require them to do, as 39 percent of employers required employees to be in the office full-time post-pandemic while only 29 percent of employees surveyed wanted to be back in their office.
“Successful companies are the ones thinking about long-term strategy rather than ‘let’s just survive this crisis.’ The reality is, most businesses were forced to go remote and are now hybrid. We all need to work together to create a new way of working that is productive for businesses and employees alike,” the survey concluded.
For the 5th Annual State of Remote Work report, Owl Labs again partnered with leading remote work analytics firm, Global Workplace Analytics, to learn more about the current state of remote and hybrid work and what lies ahead. The “State of Remote Work 2021” survey is available at https://owllabs.com/state-of-remote-work/2021.
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