The coronavirus pandemic has millions of Americans working from home. But what initially seemed temporary is increasingly becoming accepted as the “new normal” — and quite possibly a permanent change.
That’s according to the “State of Remote Work 2020” survey from the website Remote Work 2020, which gathered perspectives from 331 remote workers on an array of topics connected to what has emerged as a new way of life for so many.
One of the key findings: Most remote workers don’t intend to return to a co-located setting. In fact, an overwhelming 82% suggest they never plan to return to an in-office setting. “Irrespective of the reason to explore remote working, this stat reflects the convenience it offers to individuals and how offering remote working opportunities might immediately make a company much more favorable to applicants,” the survey says.
Nearly all respondents — speaking generally — said they’d recommend remote work to others. There’s a big caveat, however: 35% said they’d recommend the work-from-lifestyle depending on the person they were recommending it to. In short, working from home might not be the answer for everyone or for every situation.
The biggest motivator for working remotely? Flexibility, the survey found.
“There could be a variety of reasons to work remotely,” the survey says. “However, the most stated one by some margin was the Flexibility in work timings at 39%. This is an interesting stat for companies — offering flexible work hours might improve retention and employee happiness.”
Other popular responses include avoiding long commutes (25%) and spending time with loved ones (21%). Only 8% cited the opportunity to travel as a motivating factor.
While attractive to so many workers, remote work also makes people confront the balance between their jobs and their personal lives, with loneliness part of the calculus. More than a quarter (27%) said clearly compartmentalizing work-time and personal-time is their biggest challenge. The same percentage also cited loneliness as a top challenge.
“Our survey indicated that remote workers are probably working higher than the usual amount,” the website says. “A large part of our respondents (44%) indicated that they work for greater than 40 hours a week and a comparable number (41%) said they work for 30-40 hours. 11% shared that they work 20-30 hours and 4%, less than 20 hours, showcasing the flexibility that remote work offers.”