A majority of employees prefer working in the office — but remote work remains attractive
- As the workplace shifts toward flexible schedules, 62% of employees in the quarterly Randstad Workmonitor survey said they prefer working in the office. That rate was even higher among younger workers: about 65% of those aged 18-24 said they prefer working in the office.
- Although 82% of U.S. workers like the idea of being able to work from anywhere at any time, the study also found that 66% of those workers who like the option are unable to take it. Only 36% of respondents said their employers support flexible work options, and 35% of employees said their employers don't provide the equipment needed to work from home.
- In other key results, 80% of respondents said they like the ability to work from anywhere, at anytime because their productivity, creativity and job satisfaction increases, and 61% said they don't think flexibility interferes with their personal lives or their ability to disconnect from the office.
If anything, the study seems to reveal that employees like to be able to decide when and how they work — be it in the office or not. Job seekers are bypassing workplaces with traditional 9-to-5 workdays, some studies show, and employees have said in other surveys that they would leave their current job for one that provides a remote work option.
Even as some high-profile companies like IBM and Aetna have called their remote workers back to the office, flexible work schedules seem unlikely to go away. To attract new hires and retain workers, a WorldatWork study found that 80% of employers offer flexible work options. One problem, however, is that many employers have not adopted a formal remote work policy, even as they continue to hire remote workers. Some say this can create a disconnect between how supervisors manage their people and the actual policies on the books.
"Big companies are operating in the same mode as in the 20th century, but how managers work with their teams has changed rapidly," Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel previously told HR Dive in an interview. To remain competitive, employers may want to try to accommodate the varying ways employees work, rather than hope that one size fits all.