CivicScience | Americans are Getting Better at Working from Home

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Americans are Getting Better at Working from Home

Image Credit: Photo by Windows on Unsplash

Late last year, CivicScience began tracking work from home (WFH) productivity, and since the start of the pandemic, the data around WFH productivity has undergone quite the evolution. 

Generally speaking, in the last six months, the challenge of working from home has remained the same for 58% of U.S. adults.

Although working from home is not (or has not been) possible for 49% of U.S. adults, among those who are working from home, 66% have had a positive experience. The current sentiment around WFH is relatively favorable. 

As the data show, 35- to 54-year-olds are the most likely to enjoy working from home, while 18- to 24-year-olds like it the least. 

More women than men are working from home right now, and both genders appear to enjoy it or dislike at the same rate.

Perhaps not surprisingly, there is a strong correlation between those who enjoy working from home and those who are concerned about being in public spaces. At least for now, it seems that working from home provides some level of relief for those with the greatest hesitations. 

The Power of Productivity

One of the biggest potential WFH obstacles is the issue of productivity. However, in the last year, productivity has actually increased by four percentage points. With so many companies either requiring or allowing employees to work from home this year, it’s possible that U.S. adults may be getting the hang of this new way of life.

Who’s Getting in the WFH Zone? 

So who is becoming more productive? As the data show, women are faring better than men right now in WFH productivity. However, productivity has gone up for both genders, surpassing mid and pre-pandemic levels.

In addition to gender, parental status has also played a role in WFH productivity. Before the pandemic, parents lagged slightly behind non-parents in terms of WFH productivity. However, the most recent data indicates that the two are tied, with parents’ WFH productivity jumping eight percentage points in the last year.

The number of people in a household–regardless of whether they’re children, parents or roommates, also makes a difference in productivity levels. 

Before the pandemic, 52% of those in homes of 6+ people were actually the most productive when working from home. However, that number has dropped to 46% in the last year. All other households have seen an increase in productivity levels in the same timeframe. 

Notably, those who live alone saw the biggest jump in WFH productivity, from 31% last year to 40% now.

Across the board, U.S. adults are becoming more productive at home. Against the backdrop of the pandemic, parents, women, and those who live alone have all seen a substantial rise in their WFH productivity. However, not everyone is experiencing this shift at the same rate. The pandemic seems to have made working from home more challenging for larger households.

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