As someone who tends to prefer working from home (WFH), I find the research about WFH preferences interesting. The following data is from the US, but Australian attitudes would probably be broadly similar.
It is fair to say that most companies would prefer that work arrangements return to pre-pandemic practices, fearing that productivity has suffered. So it is not surprising that corporate return-to-office (RTO) mandates are multiplying, and they’re coming with new requirements. But impatient bosses know these ultimatums, while welcomed by a few lonely workers, could mean losing staff.
According to a Bloomberg survey, some 50% of people who work in finance in the US would rather quit than spend more time in the office; just 20% of respondents said they prefer to return-to-office. Indeed, for some companies, RTO could be a way to constructively fire employees and “right-size” their staff complement. AT&T, for example, told 60,000 managers to return to work in person but to a sharply reduced number of offices, requiring many to relocate or quit.
In a 2022 survey, Statista found 25% of respondents state that their biggest struggle when working remotely was not being able to unplug. As many people who work from home do not necessarily have a designated workspace, they experience a conflation between their living area and workplace. However a third of respondents answered that they experienced no struggles when working remotely.
Many companies are confronted with the challenges inherent in novel hybrid work solutions. Strategies developed to support remote work include training for employees and expanding IT infrastructure to ensure that employees can collaborate efficiently from different locations.
Certainly, it is important to take the challenges experienced by employees seriously as current telework trends are likely to persist for some time and become a common way of working in the future.
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