Almost 60 percent of Americans think COVID-19 has changed the way we work for the better, according to WalletHub’s nationally representative Coronavirus and Working from Home Survey, released today.
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 of the survey, along with a WalletHub Q&A.
- 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.
For the complete survey results, visit:
Q&A with WalletHub
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.”
Is 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.”