NEW YORK – American employees say the most important job feature they are looking for after COVID-19 is the ability to continue working remotely whenever they want.
That’s according to a new study of 2,000 Americans still working from home during the pandemic. More than two in five (48%) say a company’s remote working policy is now the number one asset in the workplace. It’s so important that nearly three in four (72%) say they wouldn’t even consider working for a company that doesn’t offer flexible policies for working from home.
Is the office dead?
The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Kintone, shows that nearly three quarters of those who work from home (71%) do not miss any full-time office environment at all. Another 76 percent would take the opportunity to work from home on a permanent basis.
Although 36 percent think their work from home is more difficult, 71 percent say they have a better work-life balance when they work from home. The employees are most satisfied with the new flexibility in their duty rosters (45%) and the ability to take breaks at any time (44%), with the average person taking a break about every two and a half hours.
More than half of respondents (51%) think that their contributions have gained more recognition in the workplace since they have started working from home.
“People are relying on remote work more than ever. Workplace norms have shifted and employees expect a more stable work-life balance, ”said Dave Landa, CEO of Kintone, in a statement.
Working from home disadvantages
Unfortunately, for employees, working from home wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies. From a lack of office equipment (35%) to difficulty communicating with colleagues (36%) or too many distractions (34%), working from home is not a flawless system for many.
Employees also say they want to buy an internet upgrade (48%), a new computer (40%), or a new desk or work station (38%) to enhance their remote work experience. One in five (22%) said they were dissatisfied with their company meeting employee needs while working from home.
Americans were not afraid to offer suggestions on how their company could help improve their work from home. Almost half believe that adjusted company policies, including working hours and expectations (46%) would make a difference in their performance. Other ways businesses can improve their work from home include reimbursing their employees for internet or other utility bills (43%) or providing them with a new computer or laptop (41%).
Communication is key for half of respondents (52%) who think their company can benefit from more direct communication with employees.
Nearly six in ten (57%) felt that work-related communication in the office was more productive, and 36 percent felt that communicating effectively with their manager about career issues was a burden.
“Every major transformation like this one is associated with hurdles and uncertainties. In the end, the benefits of happier and happier employees justify the effort to face these challenges. Employers should develop guidelines and solutions to address these concerns and strengthen communications so that the remote and hybrid work experiences will only improve in the post-pandemic period, ”Landa added.