58% of employees would “absolutely” look for a new job if remote work options were removed

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Remote workers report saving time and money as top benefits


Although the transition to remote work has been a necessity for many workers amid the coronavirus pandemic, employees said they’ve witnessed firsthand the benefits and convenience it can provide. As “normal” life draws closer, workers want this aspect of life in the age of the pandemic to remain.

FlexJobs, an online job search service based in Boulder, Colorado, found in a recent study that many people working remotely during the pandemic want to continue doing so in the future. In fact, 58% of respondents said they would “absolutely” seek out a new opportunity if they weren’t able to continue working remotely in their current role.

Remote workers are saving time and money, but they have mental health issues

Asked about their concerns about a massive return to the office, respondents cited the following concerns:

  • Exposure and infection to COVID-19 (49%)

  • Work flexibility (46%)

  • Work-life balance (43%)

  • Office politics and distractions (34%)

  • Lack of health and safety measures (32%)

The benefits of working from home, on the other hand, may be too enticing to ignore. More than 8 in 10 respondents (84%) cited not having to commute to work as the top benefit of working remotely, followed by cost savings (75%).

Notably, in terms of cost savings, nearly 4 in 10 remote workers (38%) said they save at least $5,000 a year in money they would otherwise have spent on dining out, dry cleaning, gasoline and more. One in five people saved more than $200 a week — or more than $10,000 a year — on these expenses.

Of course, working from home comes with its own set of challenges. Respondents particularly struggled with:

  • Healthy working limits (35%)

  • Non-work distractions (28%)

  • Technology issues (28%)

  • Reliable Wi-Fi (26%)

  • Video conferencing fatigue (24%)

More than half of respondents (56%) have experienced burnout at some point during the pandemic, and 39% said their mental health is worse now than it was in January 2020.

Similarly, a survey by The Standard showed that 46% of employees are struggling with their mental health in the midst of the crisis, an increase of seven percentage points compared to the pre-pandemic period.

Remote workers are investing more in home office setups and professional development

With many of today’s employees embarking on remote work, it’s no surprise that they’ve invested more money and resources into setting up their home office.

Many remote workers have set up a permanent workspace at home, whether it’s a dedicated office space (34%) or a “real” home office (24%). Nine in 10 remote workers said they spent money on their home office in 2020, specifically:

  • 42% spent between $100 and $500

  • 12% spent over $1,000

This aligns with recent findings from Hippo: the home insurance company found home offices to be one of the top areas for improvement for homeowners over the past year, with 52% of respondents to the survey also purchased office equipment to update their workspaces.

Yet remote worker office spaces aren’t the only ones getting a refresh.

The FlexJobs survey also found that 86% of employees working from home put more effort into professional or skills development. These projects included:

  • Take professional development courses online (51%)

  • Learning new remote working tools (47%)

  • Acquire new professional skills (44%)

  • Participation in virtual professional development events (41%)

  • Studying or getting a new certification (28%)

Methodology: From March 17 to April 5, 2021, FlexJobs used SurveyMonkey to conduct an online survey of 2,181 respondents who worked remotely during the pandemic. Seven in 10 respondents (72%) were American, 4% were Canadian and 24% lived outside of these two countries.

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