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While we fielded research on the remote working phenomenon prior to COVID-19, this topic is increasingly relevant today, with working from home becoming a necessity for many in recent months. We surveyed 1,508 Americans aged 18+ who currently work in a job that requires regular use of a computer from July 13-15 to gain further insights on their current work habits. 

Of those we surveyed, 40% are currently fully working in a corporate office, with another 12% doing a hybrid of working remotely and in a corporate office. Of the remainder, 34% are currently working remotely but were working at a corporate office pre-COVID-19 and 15% have been working remotely since before the pandemic. 

Among those currently spending at least some of their workweek at a corporate office, 33% are “very comfortable” with their workplace’s current conditions, with another 46% “somewhat comfortable.” One-in-five are “not very” (17%) or “not at all comfortable” (4%).

The top precautions taken by these workplaces are providing and requiring masks/gloves for all employees and having an ample supply of disinfectant wipes & hand sanitizer (71% in each case). Notably, only 44-49% indicate their office has been cleaning common areas multiple times a day and/or staggering seating so that all employees are at least 6 feet apart.

For those currently working remotely, it’s generally been smooth sailing. At least six-in-ten have a dedicated home office setup, have regular video calls, appreciate being able to set more flexible hours and/or not having to commute into an office.

But are those who are currently working from home finding Zoom Happy Hours as fulfilling as in-person water cooler discussions and socialization? Gen Z & Millennial remote workers are most apt to indicate they miss the social aspects & face time from being in an office (62%), with Boomers least inclined to this opinion (45%).

When those who have been working remotely since COVID-19 (but worked in a corporate office prior) were asked when they hope to return to their office, 28% desire to be back at their company’s office by the end of the year and another 15% don’t see returning until early 2021. A third would prefer not to go back until whenever a vaccine for COVID-19 is made available and another one-in-four hope to get the green light to continue working remotely either most (18%) or all of the time (7%).

With employees excelling at and seemingly enjoying working from home, is relocating becoming more feasible?  We’ll explore the key considerations for relocating in an upcoming post.

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Bess Devenow

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