Even though the world is moving closer to the end of the pandemic, the monumental shift to work-from-home seems to be here to stay, with most employees looking for a post-pandemic future with a lot more flexibility.
A FlexJobs survey of more than 2,100 remote workers in the U.S., conducted between March 17 and April 5, 2021, found that most employees want flexible work to continue post-pandemic.
A 58% of respondents said they would “absolutely” look for a new job if they cannot continue remote work in their current role. Another 65% wanted to work fully remotely post-pandemic, while 33% hoped for a hybrid work arrangement – divided between the office and at home. Only 11% said that working remotely is not a big deal.
What employees like and dislike about remote work
The survey also explored what respondents like and dislike about remote work. When asked, respondents ranked “cost savings” as the number two benefit of remote work (75%), with “not having a commute” ranking number one (84%).
In addition, a majority of workers (55%) said that their productivity has increased while working remotely, while only 6% of workers think their productivity has decreased.
When asked about the biggest challenges they faced, they cited overworking or an inability to unplug (35%), dealing with non-work distractions (28%), dealing with technology problems (28%), and reliable WiFi (26%).
But is remote work setting barriers to careers?
One of the concerns remote workers often express is that their career path may be hindered by not being physically present in the office. Of course, the pivot to remote work during the pandemic was an unusual circumstance, and most respondents are not concerned that remote work has impacted their professional future adversely.
When asked if they felt their professional skills had suffered, 76% said that remote work had not impacted their skills. However, 14% said they felt their skills had been impacted to some extent, while 5% said they had “definitely” been impacted.
Remote workers are also often concerned that working remotely could negatively impact their chance at a promotion. The survey, however, found that a majority, 70% felt that working at home during the pandemic had not impacted their chances.
Pay cuts due to remote work underway
But as employees discover the benefits of working at home, many employers – such as Twitter and Facebook – seize the opportunity to review their cost levels. As a result, employees who want to move to cheaper areas (looking primarily for bigger housing, able to accommodate the nowadays necessary home office) are now facing pay cuts, despite the fact that they are taking over higher costs to maintain a home office and that their employer is saving money by not having them at the office.