Survey Monkey, through its Curiosity at Work program, conducted a series of surveys regarding attitudes about returning to work. The findings are usually interesting, sometimes confounding, and definitely worth noting.

According to Survey Monkey, “If it were up to employees themselves, American workers would opt for a choice from where to work, but want the option to go to the office.”

  • 42% of workers would want a mix of remote and office work.
  • Greater shares of men (40%) want to work from the office than women (31%).
  • Almost half (46%) of women want a mix of remote and office work (37% among men).

Nearly 39% of workers are doing so remotely compared to 22% prior to the pandemic.

  • 47% say they’re equally productive at home compared to before the pandemic.
  • 27% say they are less productive.
  • 25% say they are more productive.

Nearly 1/3 of American’s flew for work at least once a year prior to the pandemic.

  • 75% of those who flew often (once a month or more) want to go back to regular travel when the pandemic is over.

Workers who want to work full time remotely after the pandemic cite work-life balance (66%), schedule flexibility (57%), job productivity (49%), and distance to their workplace (41%) as the main reasons for their preference.

  • Two in five (38%) parents cite childcare as a leading reason for wanting to work remotely.
  • Workers aged 40 and younger are much more likely than those aged 41 and older to prefer remote work due to childcare (32% vs. 9%) and taking care of family members (26% vs 19%).

Work-life balance (67%) and social interactions with others (50%) are the most common reasons for those who prefer a hybrid work arrangement, while more than half of workers who favor working in person cite social interaction with others (58%) and job productivity (52%) for their preference.

After a year of navigating new workplace policies and work arrangements, the return to work is not without concerns. Among those who are going back to their physical workplaces (either part time or full time), two in five (40%) say they are ‘somewhat dreading’ or ‘very much dreading’ returning to work in person. The overwhelming majority (80%) have at least some degree of concern about returning, with only a small minority (20%) not concerned about returning.

  • 40% are concerned with a less flexible work schedule
  • 36% are returning to a long commute to work
  • 35% expect a decrease in work-life balance
  • 29% are concerned about getting exposed to the coronavirus at work
  • 21% of parents are concerned about their childcare arrangements
  • 19% believe they will be less productive in their jobs
  • 18% predict a negative impact on their mental health

A quarter of all workers are likely to leave their current jobs in the next 6 months, mostly due to stress from work.

  • More than 37% are looking to advance or change their careers.
  • 35% are seeking better compensation and work benefits.
  • 22% cite the lack of a worth-life balance in their current roles.
  • 15% are unsatisfied with how their employer has handled the pandemic
  • 14% are hoping to leave due to a long commute
  • 11% note the lack of remote work options
  • 9% have to take care of family members at home

Workers who prefer to work remotely are much more likely to cite a lack of remote work options (34%) as a reason for wanting to leave their jobs, highlighting the growing embrace of the work arrangement among the workforce. Not all employers, however, are aligned with what workers’ want:

  • Less than half (42%) of those who prefer to work a mix of both in person and remotely expect to do so once the pandemic subsides, with a similar portion (41%) expecting to work in person full time.
  • Only one third (33%) of those who would rather work fully remote will have their preferred arrangement after Covid, as the rest return to working in person part time (28%), full time (21%), or are unsure (18%).

It would be interesting to learn if public media employees are in alignment with other workers, or if they are more satisfied with their work options. Has anyone surveyed their employees to find out? If you have to do, please share your findings with U:SA!