Consumer Trends

60% Of Americans Think Pandemic Has Changed The Way We Work For The Better

Survey shows the pandemic has severely altered the conception of the workplace

New market research, Coronavirus and Working from Home Survey, from WalletHub, a consumer credit and financial advisory firm. Visit www.wallethub.com

June 16, 2020 — A new survey from WalletHub has examined Americans’ thoughts about working from home during the coronavirus pandemic and a potential return to an office, including how being at home has affected productivity and what people miss most about the office.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, only about 25 percent of the workforce worked from home at least some of the time, and just 14.5 percent worked exclusively from home all week. However, the social distancing restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus crisis forced businesses across the U.S. to operate from home while their buildings remained closed.

Now, as the pandemic starts to gradually decline, Americans must consider what lasting impacts it may have on the workplace. Almost 60 percent of Americans think COVID-19 has actually changed the way we work for the better, according to a recent nationally representative WalletHub survey.

WalletHub’s survey examined Americans’ thoughts about working from home during the coronavirus pandemic and a potential return to an office, including how being at home has affected productivity and what people miss most about the office. Below are highlights from the survey, along with commentary from a panel of experts and a description of our methodology.

Survey Highlights:

  • Harsh penalties for not returning to the workplace. A third of Americans believe that businesses should fire employees who refuse to go back to work.
  • Parents’ work efficiency may suffer at home. Around 50 percent of parents with young children at home don’t think they are more productive working from home.
  • Working from home seen as the future. Almost a third of Americans think that physical offices are a thing of the past.
  • Positive changes to the work environment. Almost 60 percent of Americans think COVID-19 has changed the way we work for the better.

Ask the Experts

Americans have differing views on working from home and how prominent that will be in the future. To provide more insight, WalletHub turned to a panel of experts. Click on the pictures of the experts below to see their bios and responses to the following key questions:

  • Are the nearly 1 in 3 Americans who think physical offices are a thing of the past correct?
  • Can businesses fire employees who refuse to go back to work during/after the pandemic? Should they be able to?
  • Almost 60% of Americans think that COVID-19 has changed the way we work for the better; are they right, and can we expect that sentiment to last?
  • Do you have any advice for the 50% of parents who say they are less productive working from home?
Around a third of Americans think physical offices are a thing of the past. While we are very likely to see an expansion of work-from-home infrastructure in the future, let’s not get ahead of ourselves...

Q&A with WalletHub’s Jill Gonzalez on how American’s view working from home:

Are Americans sympathetic to those who would rather work from home than go back to the workplace?
“Around 67 percent of Americans think people who don’t want to return to the workplace should not be fired, which shows that most people are sympathetic to those who would rather work from home. It is troubling that a third of Americans think people who don’t want to return to work should be fired, considering the fact that the unemployment rate is already massive,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “People with high incomes are actually the least likely to say businesses should fire people who don’t want to return to the workplace, which could be explained by the fact that they have the most comfortable work-from-home conditions. The wealthy might already be in a position that allows them to not go back to the workplace, too.”

Do parents with young children at home find working from home distracting?
“More than 50 percent of parents with young children at home say they are not more productive when working from home,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “While children can divert parents’ attention from work, some people may find the home itself to be more of a detriment to productivity than other people are, since it is unmonitored and offers access to TV, a kitchen and other distractions.”

Do Americans predict a future where working from home is the norm?
“Around a third of Americans think physical offices are a thing of the past,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “While we are very likely to see an expansion of work-from-home infrastructure in the future, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Even some office jobs cannot be done from home easily or securely. We’ll need to see a lot more technological advancement before working from home becomes an option for everyone.”

Are people’s opinion on how COVID-19 has shaped the way we work positive or negative?
“Six in 10 Americans think that COVID-19 has changed the way we work for the better,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Although the pandemic has been devastating to American lives and the economy, it did show that more jobs are capable of being performed from home than we initially thought or would admit. A larger work-from-home infrastructure could have positive effects on public health, traffic and family life in the future.”

For the complete survey results, visit here.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *