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Working from home, telecommuting, or flexible work arrangements was something of a pipedream for many of us decades ago. Doing your work from home freed you from the daily commute, dressing up, putting up money for lunches and snacks, parking the car, etc. It also allowed you to spend more quality time with family and even goof around for a bit. Today, in this pandemic-impacted world, it has become a forced reality. While some enjoy it, others seethe and bristle at being constrained at home. But what do people feel about it?
According to a report, half of the people who work from home are dissatisfied.
New data released from Steelcase reported that 41% of workers who work from home frequently are dissatisfied with their work-from-home experience. Only 19% are fully satisfied.
Steelcase’s research included findings collected throughout the pandemic in as many as ten countries with more than 32,000 participants. The survey included business leaders and real estate decision-makers who represent millions of workers.
Interestingly, while experiences and individual capacities vary from person to person, 95% of the respondents say they expect to return to the office to some degree.
What people are saying
With people dissatisfied with their work-from-home situation, it resulted in a 14% reduction in engagement, 12% drop in productivity, and 6% decline in innovation. These sobering stats can hurt a company’s bottom line.
Many of the respondents also felt a drop in quantity, quality, and work consistency of work. Lower-than-average efficiency could equate to a 5% average profit reduction for large companies.
Data also shows that most workers want to return to the office, and their experiences during the pandemic will hopefully provide guidance for a new, better work experience.
Here are the rest of the report’s findings:
- 37% report a worsening sense of isolation
- 20% report a drop in their productivity
- 20% say there was a drop in their engagement
- 35% enjoyed not commuting
- 25.7% liked the ability to focus
- 20% are experiencing a worsening speed of decision making
- 16.5% have worsening work-life balance
Aside from these sobering stats, less-than-stellar
work-from-home setups contributed to unsatisfactory work-from-home experiences. Thirty-six percent (36%) of the respondents say that they lack a place free from distraction, and 28% do not have a physically comfortable workspace.
Oddly enough, some do their office work from their bed or couch, and 9% of them do it consistently from their beds. Management positions do have it better. Seventy-five percent (75%) of directors or above always work at a desk, and 46% have an ergonomic chair.
The report did say that only 5% of organizations expect to work from home full time. That’s just 2% higher before the pandemic. Almost a quarter still see the office as the primary work location, while the vast majority, 72%, plan to take a hybrid approach, providing flexible work schemes. Many organizations are looking at satellite or coworking spaces closer to where workers live, responding to workers complaining of the long commute.
For more information about the Steelcase report, click here.