Sustaining a high level of productivity doing their job remotely, a sturdy 43% of Americans are questioning if returning to work is essential.
That finding surfaced in a new survey by The Conference Board that uncovers a crucial shift pertaining to employees’ greatest return-to-work concerns.
Worries of contracting COVID-19 or exposing family members to it now fall behind uneasiness about returning at all, dropping by nearly half in the last nine months, the board reported.
A growing number of firms plan to reopen offices in upcoming months. The online survey done in late May and early June analyzed plans and opinions on reopening the workplace. Over 3,600 U.S. workers from various industries participated in the survey. It followed similar surveys in late 2020 and early 2021.
Some other top findings included:
- Some 55% of Millennials are more likely to question the wisdom of returning than other generations, followed 45% by Gen X and 36% of Baby Boomers.
- Fifty percent of women asked about the wisdom of coming back to the office versus 33% of men.
- Respondents on average are convinced that over half of their organization’s full-time workers will have a hybrid work arrangement. Almost 40% will work two to three days remotely. Some 13% will work remotely one day per week and on-site four days, and another 30% will be in the office five days weekly.
- One-quarter of respondents noted expressed concerns over the deterioration of mental health, up from 13% from September and January. Stress/burnout is the top well-being concern among workers, with the highest percentages being 70% for Millennials, 62% for women, and 61% for individual contributors.
“What’s striking is that the same workers who question returning to the workplace given high productivity while working remotely have also expressed greater concerns about mental health, stress, and burnout,” Rebecca Ray, Ph.D., executive vice president, Human Capital at The Conference Board, stated.
“This reinforces the need for companies to pay close attention to the well-being of their people in remote and hybrid work arrangements.”
When it comes to going back to work, the comfort level has grown greatly in the last six months. About 40% of respondents are very comfortable or even want to return, up from 17% in September 2020. The breakdown of those findings showed the level of comfort rose based on seniority. For instance, 66% of CEOs fall in those categories while individuals were 23%. On the gender front, 49% of men are very comfortable/want to return and women 31%. Generationally, Baby Boomers (43%) are more comfortable returning than Generation X (38%), and Millennials (24%).