It seems to appear to be the case that working from home can make people happier and more productive.
I guess there’s always something good in everything, even in a global pandemic. Many companies have been forced to allow their employees to work remotely full time, and after this six months long global test, results have started to come in. Those are not a big surprise to many: productivity has gone up, and people feel more satisfaction towards their job and current employer.
A recent study made by The Grossmann Group also confirms this, and we can see how the remote work arrangement has positively impacted employees’ sentiment toward their company:
For me though, perhaps the most eye-opening was this post that I saw on LinkedIn last week. In it, Jacobo had done a survey on LinkedIn and asked his network to choose the option according to everyone’s own preference. If a person chose a thumb up, he/she would prefer to work every day remotely, with clapping hands four days, with a heart two day, etc.
Over 20,000 responses in a week, and only about 2% hoped to work from the office every day in the future! Instead, 35% expected to be able to work three days a week remotely, and 29% would not return to offices at all! These results are also pretty groundbreaking in the sense that Spain has not been a pioneer in teleworking, and in most companies, teleworking was not even possible before the corona came into the picture.
In Finland, InHunt Group’s CEO Mr. Kari Juutilainen did a similar survey. In a week, his post had received over 8000 reactions just to confirm the same. Only 6% of the Finnish employees want to work from the office from Monday to Friday. 94% is insisting on working remotely at least once per week. Like in Spain, the most common answer was the desire to work remotely three days a week.
It also appears to be the case that working from home can make people happier. A paper published already in 2017 in the American Economic Review found that workers were willing to accept an 8% pay cut to work from home, suggesting it gives them non-monetary benefits. Average meeting lengths appear to decline, and people commute less, or not at all. That is great for overall wellbeing.
In the Economist, there was a great article recently about the future of the offices and how the post-pandemic time will look very different. Working from home seems to have suited many white-collar employees. As lockdowns have eased, people have gone out into the world once more: retail spending has jumped across the rich world while restaurant reservations have sharply risen. Yet many continue to avoid the office, especially when schools have reopened and making the home office even more tempting option for working parents.
The latest data suggest that only 50% of people in five big European countries spend every workday in the office. A quarter remain at home full-time:
What remains to be seen is whether this change is permanent. Personally, I do believe so.