Pew Research: Most Remote Workers Don’t Want to go Back to the Office

A new Pew Research Center study shows most workers who have been working remotely the past two years don’t want to go back to the office.

The study shows 59 percent of Americans with jobs that can be done remotely say they continue working from home. That’s less than the 71 percent who reported working remotely in October 2020 but well above the 23 percent who did frequently before the pandemic.

And among those who have a workplace outside their homes, the majority (61 percent) said they are choosing to work from home, while the remainder said they’re remote because their workplace is closed or unavailable to them.

Pew researchers found that 60 percent of workers with jobs that can be done from home say they’d like to work from home all or most of the time when the pandemic is over. This is up from 54 percent in 2020.

People choose to work at home rather than the office for several reasons. Forty-two percent cited fear of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace – that’s down from 57 percent in 2020. But the biggest reason cited by respondents (76 percent) is that working from home is their preference.

For some, geography plays a role: 17 percent (up from 9 percent in 2020) say they have relocated during the last couple of years. And for parents with kids under 18, Pew found a third cited lack of child care, while 15 percent said there are restrictions on their access to their workplace.

Among people who rarely if ever worked from home before the pandemic and are choosing to do so now, 64 percent said working from home has improved their work-life balance. In terms of productivity, 44 percent say remote work has made it easier for them to get work done and meet deadlines. One common downside, however, is feeling less connected to colleagues, which 60 percent cited.

To see other findings from the Pew survey, go here full Pew report is here.