As the country prepares for a future after the COVID-19 outbreak, employers and employees are thinking about what they want their post-pandemic work environments to look like. According to a new survey from Ivanti, an IT software company based in South Jordan, Utah, the "Everywhere Workplace" is here to stay.
Ivanti's findings show that remote work will remain a priority for workers after the pandemic, with many saying they would be willing to take a pay cut (48%) or get passed over for a promotion (63%) in order to work from home.
Only 12% of employees would want to work full-time in the office moving forward.
WFH employees take advantage of flexibility
Even though half of Ivanti's respondents report working longer hours than they did before the pandemic, 52% of them say their morale improved while working remotely.
According to survey participants, the biggest benefits of remote work included:
- Flexible work schedule (47%)
- Less commute stress (43%)
- Money saved (40%)
- Better work/life balance (35%)
In addition, many had the opportunity to change their work environment as they pleased: 37% of employees worked from a location away from home, while 21% moved to a new city or state during the pandemic.
With that in mind, it's little wonder that many employees would prefer fully remote work (37%) or hybrid work (39%), even after the pandemic. In fact, only 10% of workers said they would not consider fully remote work for their next opportunity.
Challenges remain for remote work-heavy companies and their teams
However, remote work comes with a fair share of challenges — ones that organizations and their workers may want to consider before making any permanent changes. For instance, some of the biggest concerns remote workers had include:
- Less physical movement throughout the day (40%)
- Lack of interaction with colleagues (39%)
- Screen fatigue (31%)
- Difficulty collaborating or communicating effectively (31%)
The burden (and associated costs) of creating and maintaining an adequate remote workspace mostly fell onto employees, too. Ivanti found that remote workers saw the greatest increase in their electricity bills during this time (45%), followed by home office and food expenses (39% and 34%, respectively).
As a result, workers believe that their employers should foot part of their WFH bill for the following:
- Home internet (60%)
- Office chair (43%)
- Cell phone (38%)
- Desk (33%)
With this major shift in the nature of work, companies with large remote workforces have another concern to address: IT and cybersecurity. In addition to their general concerns about working from home, employees also reported tech issues such as:
- Inability to access corporate resources (29%)
- Wi-Fi issues (21%)
- Password resets (18%)
This affects worker productivity, as 22% of respondents said they’ve had to contact IT support one to three times a month while working remotely. Another 19% admitted they’ve reached out for help once a week.
And with a separate survey showing that many consumers don't practice good password hygiene, it may prove beneficial to reassess company IT and cybersecurity needs in the months ahead.
Methodology: Ivanti conducted its Everywhere Workplace survey online in May 2021. Respondents consisted of a nationally representative sample of 925 U.S. remote workers age 18 and older.