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AFS Insights

How do you feel about working remotely?

Survey finds 80 per cent of employees want remote work to continue post-pandemic.

While the shift from driving to the office in a suit to shuffling to a laptop in slippers was supposed to be a temporary reaction to the global health crisis, the majority of employees want it to be a permanent change.

The majority (80%) of U.S. employees said they expect to work remotely at least three times per week after the coronavirus pandemic is over, according to a new survey by Owl Labs and Global Workplace Analytics.

The survey, which polled 2,025 full-time workers in June and July, also found one in two respondents said they won’t return to jobs that don’t offer remote working once the crisis is over.

Indeed, survey respondents preferred remote working so much that 23 per cent said they’re willing to take a pay cut of more than 10 per cent in order to continue to work from home at least some of the time, compared to only eight per cent in 2019.

“Leaders, take note. Requiring all employees to be in an office or onsite is now a policy of the past,” said the report “Employees now expect the flexibility to work where they want. Remote work can make or break a company’s ability to recruit and retain employees. Almost 70 per cent of respondents said if working from home was no longer an option post-pandemic, they would be less happy and almost half would look for another role that allowed remote work.”

More than three-quarters (79%) of respondents ranked avoiding the commute as a main reason to continue working from home. In fact, the lack of commute is saving about 40 minutes per day, with respondents also saying they’re saving an average of $641 per month working remotely. Most employees (72%) also agreed that ability to work from home makes them less stressed and 77 per cent said it lets them better manage their work-life balance.

While employers may fear the shift away from managing in-person teams, 75 per cent of survey respondents said they’re the same or more productive during the pandemic while working from home. And, on average, remote employees said they worked an extra 26 hours each month during the pandemic.

While remote work is preferred by employees, it’s not without some headaches. Video meetings are the new norm, with video calls taking place 50 per cent more than before the crisis. Employees said the top challenges during virtual meetings are interruptions/being talked over (62%), background distractions from other participants (59%), staying focused (57%) and the audio and visual quality of video conferencing (56%).

While employees want to continue remote working post-pandemic, 43 per cent said they fear it will impact their career progression.

“This year, there are more people new to working from home, so this suggests more are concerned about their newly remote career and its impact on growth and development,” said the report. “…COVID-19 has taught us that working from the office doesn’t equal productivity, with the right tools and support, people can work from anywhere”.

From Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

Additional Resources:

A guide to managing your (newly) remote workers

How to make working from home a little better if it looks like you’ll be doing it a lot longer

6 Chair exercises you can do at your desk


If you’d like to discuss this topic in greater detail or have any questions, please reach out to a member of your Arbutus Financial Team.

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