When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, life changed pretty much overnight. One of the biggest things that shifted is the way we work. Instead of long commutes and days in the office, employees set up shop in their own homes and learned a new way to work. Now that vaccines are available and the world is beginning to open up again, things are going back to “normal.” The trouble is, a lot of people just aren’t ready to head back into the office and would rather quit instead.
- A new poll shows just how unwilling workers are to go back to the old way. Morning Consult recently surveyed 1,000 American adults and found that 39% of people say they’d consider quitting their job if their boss forced them back into the office full-time. This isn’t the first data showing this – a previous survey by FlexJobs found that 58% of the 2,100 participants agreed that they had no desire to go back to the office.
- Many employers still believe office time is necessary. According to Bloomberg, of 133 executives that were surveyed, roughly 30% believed that employees need to spend at least three days in the office to do their jobs well. Another 20% believed that spending all five days at the office was a must-have. Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase & Co. even claimed that remote working isn’t for “those who want to hustle.”
- Now that we’ve made a change, there’s no going back. Workers are going to rightfully start pushing back against these outdated ideas that in order to be productive, you have to be strapped to a desk in a stuffy office for 40 hours a week. Even if some employers aren’t forward-thinking enough to embrace it yet, they’ll have to shift their ideas. “If you’re a company that thinks everything’s going back to normal, you may be right but it’s pretty risky to hope that’s the case,” said management professor Anthony Klotz from Texas A&M University.
- Working from home has definite advantages. Of the FlexJob survey participants, 84% loved that they no longer had to commute, with 75% citing the ability to save money from not having to travel and buy lunch out, etc. In fact, roughly 1/3 of respondents believed they’d saved about $5,000 in their year of working at home. That’s no small feat!
- There are other benefits too. Being able to spend more time with your pets, children, and other family members is definitely a bonus. Then there’s the fact that when you’re in your own house, sometimes there are fewer distractions than in a busy office so that you can actually be more productive than you would be otherwise. It’ll be interesting to see where office culture goes from here, but it’s unlikely it’ll ever go back to the way it was – thank goodness!