Return To Office

Many Workers Have No Choice But To Return To Office

USA – While companies and businesses are all eagerly anticipating the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines that will let their employees return to the workplace safely after months of telecommuting, newly published studies show that not all people are willing to do so, reported Bloomberg on Thursday (10 December).

According to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center that was published on Wednesday, over 50 percent of workers in the United States who are presently working from home said they want the option of work remotely even after the health crisis has been surmounted.

About 33.33 percent of the respondents said they like to work remotely at least sometimes. In contrast, only 11 percent “rarely or never” want to telecommute.

However, many workers in the United States won’t have a choice. Although around 66.66 percent of employees with a bachelor’s degree or higher educational attainment shared that their work can be done from home, only 23 percent of non-degree holders can do so, noted Pew. For those who can work remotely, most said that it’s not hard for them to finish their work on time and remain motivated.

A recent study carried out by the University of Chicago (UChicago) had similar findings. The survey, which was published on 3 December, concluded that teleworking could marginally increase productivity by up to 2.4 percent.

The research “reveals that the experience has been positive and better than expected for the majority of firms and workers.” In fact, staff deem telecommuting as a benefit, for which they are potentially willing to exchange up to 8 percent of their income.

On the Pew research, increased flexibility was the main cited reason for opting to work from home, but another top concern is being exposed to illnesses.

Even if a vaccine becomes widely available, 70 percent respondents in the UChicago survey said they’re hesitant of riding trains and crowded elevators, or dining at restaurants.

“This persistent fear of proximity to others is likely to leave some residual demand for social distancing at workplaces and prop up demand for working from home in the coming years,” noted the authors.

The Pew survey was conducted in October and involved nearly 6,000 American adults. As for the UChicago poll, it surveyed 15,000 people.

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