Organizational psychology

34% of WFH (work from home) workers say they’d rather quit than return to full-time office work

wfh - woman at work-from-home desk setup
New survey shows 34% of workers would rather quit than give up their WFH (work-from-home) arrangement (photo by ScreenPost via Unsplash)

A new survey of WFH (work-from-home) employees suggests that many are not yet ready to return to the office. In fact, they may never be ready.

The survey found that 34% of WFH respondents say they would rather quit than return to a full-time office job.

Will WFH jobs become the norm?

The survey was published by staffing firm Robert Half. It involved more than 1,000 adult employees of US companies, all of whom are currently working from home due to the pandemic.

As mentioned above, more than 1 in 3 said they would look for a new job if they had to again work in the office full time.

  • Related news: A new study of 2,000 Americans who have been working from home during the pandemic has found that 76% say the shift to remote work has improved their relationships with their co-workers (i.e. the co-workers they never actually see anymore).

Just under half of all the surveyed WFH employees (49%) said they would prefer a hybrid work arrangement, dividing their time between the office and another location. Likewise, 26% said they want to remain fully remote, and 25% wanted to return to a full-time office situation.

Easing the transition: relax the hours and the dress code

The survey also reveals what employers can do to help “ease” the transition back to office life.

For example, the most important aspect that the surveyed employees mentioned is the freedom. Above all, that means freedom to set their own office hours.

They’ve also grown increasingly fond of the highly-personalized workspace that WFH jobs allow for. Along the same lines, they indicated that WFH provides a more distraction-free environment. That includes, for example, not needing to make chit-chat with co-workers.

The WFH survey respondents also said they prefer the “relaxed” dress code that they’ve grown used to at home.

And if they do need to come back to the office, even part-time, employees said they expect some changes. For example, they’d want their employer to cover their commuting costs, and also provide some form of childcare.

Backgrounder: the benefits of working from home

Working from home (WFH) is a growing trend in the workplace, and a great way to make work more flexible. Below are some of the benefits.

  • If your company allows it, it’s often a great idea to take advantage of the time you have to yourself, especially if you have children.
  • Working at home gives you time to work uninterrupted, set your own schedule, and connect with your kids at home.
  • It also enables you to work when and where you want to, without the obligations of an office.
  • You can set up a schedule that enables regular work, but also work-life balance.
  • The day-to-day responsibility of managing a business is often the cause of stress. But working from home is usually much more stress-free.

Other recent science and psychology news:

  • A new study has found that about two-thirds of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions within a month.
  • A new research paper finds that algorithmic music recommendations don’t work so well for fans of music genres such as hip-hop and hard rock.
  • Researchers have shown for the first time that animal DNA — including human DNA — can be collected from the air, via “environmental DNA.”
  • This new Tyrannosaurus rex study shows that about 20,000 lived at any one time, or 2.5 billion in total over a period of 2.5 million years.
  • Study shows Yale’s massively popular (and free) “science of well being” course actually does boost well being.
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