Just 1 in 4 remote workers wants to return to office, survey shows

Amna Nawaz, PBS NewsHour senior national correspondent, records a news segment at her Alexandria, Va., home on May 14 as the family dog, Elliott, lays at her feet. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

May 23 (UPI) — Only about one in four American workers who are now working at home due to coronavirus restrictions wants to return to the office once restrictions are lifted, a survey showed Friday.

Gallup said one of the main reasons for half of those respondents is that they now enjoy working remotely.

The pollster said the results may signal a significant shift in the workplace that could not have been anticipated before the coronavirus pandemic led businesses nationwide to close and forced many employees to telecommute.

Twenty-six percent of remote workers said they would return to the office if it was their choice. Another 25 percent said they would not return because of health concerns, and the remaining 49 percent said they’d stay at home because they simply prefer to.

“It’s been two months since a majority of U.S. employees told Gallup they were working from home due to the coronavirus, a seismic shift in how Americans typically experience employment,” Gallup wrote.

“While some of these workers may reluctantly head back to their workplace, others may decide to look for new jobs that allow them to maintain the remote work lifestyle they’ve grown accustomed to.”

Some companies are already adjusting. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees Thursday the social giant may allow most of its remote staff to continue telecommuting.

“It’s clear that COVID has changed a lot about our lives, and that certainly includes the way that most of us work,” Zuckerberg said. “Coming out of this period, I expect that remote work is going to be a growing trend as well.”

Gallup polled more than 1,300 U.S. adults for the survey, which has a margin of error of 2 points.


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