As more people get vaccinated against COVID-19 and an end to the pandemic comes closer into view, many companies with remote employees are thinking about their future plans to open up the office again, or if they will at all. But how many remote workers will want to go back to the office full-time?
According to a CivicScience survey among office workers, the consensus is relatively spread out, with a larger preference (45% of respondents) for a hybrid model. While 26% of respondents would rather work from home full-time, another 29% would prefer to be in the office every day.
According to the survey, middle-age and older workers are more likely to want a hybrid model, while younger respondents are slightly more likely to prefer both being at home or the office full-time. It should be noted that the difference is slight between age groups.
The biggest difference lies between men and women. Women are much more likely to prefer a hybrid or all-remote work environment, while men are much more keen on being in the office all the time.
Happier people are less likely to want to work from home and more inclined to like being in the office full-time than people who consider themselves to be unhappy.
Segmenting the data by only parents of school-aged children, there is a slightly larger preference for remote-only and hybrid work environments than that of the general population.
Perhaps this could be driven by stress (and also the unhappiness comparison from above). Those who have reported experiencing strong levels of stress in recent weeks are more likely to say they prefer working from home than those who have not been stressed.
A topic of ongoing discussion is vaccine policies for the workplace. According to CivicScience data, those who would prefer to be in the office full-time are much less likely to be vaccinated for COVID-19 than those who want to work from home at least part-time.
It’s clear that the pandemic has changed the workplace as we once knew it. Many companies will shift to hybrid or all-remote models, but the varied data show it will be crucial for leaders to talk to individual workers about their personal preferences.