Americans who’ve been working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic expect that remote work will continue to be a big part of their “new normal” after the crisis has passed, according to a national survey from edtech firm MindEdge/Skye Learning.
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The online survey, The State of Remote Work 2020: The Age of the Pandemic, of 828 remote workers and managers found that almost a third (29%) expect to remain working remotely full-time even after businesses resume “normal” operations. Another 27% expect to work remotely at least part-time – and only 35% expect to return to their old workplaces on a full-time basis.
Among managers, 36% expect that they will continue full-time remote work, and only 29% expect to return full-time to their old workplaces.
About half of the workforce had previous remote work experience
The survey results indicate that a slight majority (52%) of these at-home workers had some previous experience with remote work – though only 17% say they had a great deal of experience with it. The remaining 48% say they had never worked remotely before.
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For a large majority of survey respondents, remote work was a direct response to the COVID-19 crisis. Fully 80% say that their employers did not have a remote-work program before the onset of the pandemic earlier this year.
Remote work’s impact on work-life balance
With the sudden shift to working from home, American workers have been increasingly hard-pressed to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Overall, survey respondents express decidedly mixed reactions to the remote work experience: 30% say that working from home made their jobs harder, 26% say that it made their jobs easier, and 40% say the impact of remote work was both positive and negative.