A survey conducted by Blue Fountain Media,  a leading digital transformation agency based in New York City and a Pactera EDGE Company, surveyed over 1,000 employees, ages 18 – 65, ranging from clerical worker to members of senior management, revealed highly mixed feelings about the recent trend of working remotely from home. 

With our NYC office hitting 7 weeks of work from home, and no plan on getting back in the office for the foreseeable future, we wanted to explore how people in similar situations were feeling about remote work and the transition back into the office. Below are the full statistical highlights from the survey.  

bfm wfh infographic

Survey Highlights

  • More than one-third (39%) of respondents find that they are more productive working remotely than in the office.  

  • 38% of respondents are nervous to return to work after restrictions are lifted, claiming they have to see what safety measures are put in place – while one-third of respondents (33%) can’t wait to back into the office.

  • 42% of respondents feel that remote work will eventually replace physical offices post pandemic, however 41% of respondents think physical offices should still be an option post COVID-19.
  • 18% responded that they take zero breaks throughout the day to maintain their productivity – conversely, 9% responded that they take more than five breaks a day. However, almost half of respondents (49%) agree that one to two breaks a day are needed to maintain productivity.
  • Now that commuting is no longer a concern, 34% of respondents spend the extra time practicing healthy habits. They said the extra free time allows them to explore my creative options.
  • Contrastingly, 20% of respondents admit that they are not practicing healthy habits, and instead eating and drinking more and letting their health routines lapse entirely.
  • A whopping 60% of respondents find it difficult to manage or maintain work relationships while working remotely, with 28% claiming they miss interacting with co-workers even if they do get more work done remotely.
  • Nearly half of respondents’ (44%) stress level has increased since working remotely, with 26% claiming the increase has nothing to do with working remotely. With 32% citing decreased stress levels and 24% claiming their stress level stayed about the same.
  • 41% of respondents have found video conference calling apps, like Zoom or Skype, to be the most helpful since working remotely, followed by 19% of respondents finding messaging apps, like Microsoft Teams or Slack.
  • Contrastingly, 24% of respondents have not found apps and platforms to be really helpful since working remotely, they just rely on email and phone.

Breakdown by Job Position

  • It seems that productivity ranges by job position – with more than half of staff-related positions feeling less productive working remotely, compared to 42% of upper management claiming they are actually more productive working remotely.

  • 57% of staff, clerical, workers feel that they’re less productive working remotely than in the office, with 22% claiming they just don’t have the same resources to do their job well at home. Meanwhile, 42% of CEOs or Board Members surveyed find that they’re more productive working remotely than in the office. And in fact, senior managers and VPs agree with 42% also finding that they’re more productive working remotely than in the office.

  • Another interesting finding is that senior managers and VPs tend to take more breaks throughout the day than their staff.
  • Half of staff or clerical workers surveyed (50%) agree that one to two breaks a day are needed to maintain their productivity level. Meanwhile, 39% of senior managers, VPs and c-suite said they need three to five breaks throughout the day to maintain productivity - with 26% said they find they need more breaks because there are fewer distractions at home.
  • Stress levels have also varied by job position.
  • 44% of CEOs and board members have reported that their stress level has actually decreased since working remotely, 32% cite that it’s somewhat liberating.
  • Compared to the nearly half of staff and clerical workers (46%) say their stress level has increased since working remotely, with 27% of those claiming it has nothing to do with remote work.

Breakdown by Age

  • In a strange twist of events, ages 18-29 year olds (known for their overuse of tech) do not believe remote work will replace physical offices, while the older generation, ages 45-60, are more confident that remote work will replace physical offices post-pandemic

  • 41% of respondents ages 18-29 feel that remote work will NOT replace physical offices post-pandemic – and 19% feel that employees should have both options, remote work and a physical office space. While 45% of respondents 45-60 believe that remote work will eventually replace physical offices post-pandemic

  • Maintaining relationships while working from home seems to be more difficult for the younger generation of workers.
  • 64% of respondents ages 18-29 finding it difficult to manage or maintain work relationships while working remotely. While almost half of respondents older than 60 years old (47%) have not found it difficult to maintain work relationships while working remotely.
  • Older generations are not exactly embracing new technology while working remotely
  • While 18-29 year olds (42%) and 30-44 year olds (41%) are finding video conferencing apps to be the most helpful while working remotely, ages 45-60 (31%) and older than 60 (39%) have not found technology, like new apps, helpful – they just rely on their phone and email.

 

Work from Home Full Survey Results

 

What level of responsibility do you hold at your job?

  • 62% of those surveyed are staff, clerical, or workers

  • 28% of those surveyed are managers or supervisors
  • 6% of those surveyed are senior managers, vice presidents or in the C-Suite
  • 5% if those surveyed are CEOs or board members

Do you find that you are more productive working remotely than in the office?

  • 27% of respondents find that they are more productive working remotely than in the office, saying they can actually focus on their work without disruptions from coworkers.
  • 12% said they find they are more productive working remotely than in the office because they had or got all the tools they needed to work remotely successfully.
  • 17% of respondents find that they are less productive working remotely than in the office because there are too many distractions at home (kids, deliveries, house chores).
  • 21% of respondents find that they are less productive working remotely than in the office because they do not have the same resources to do their job well at home.
  • 16% feel about the same productivity working remotely as in the office, both places have their own challenges.
  • 8% responded that their productivity working remotely and in the office is about the same because they can basically work ANYWHERE.

How many breaks throughout the day do you need to maintain your productivity level?

  • 5% of respondents say they need to take zero breaks throughout the day to maintain their productivity level because they do not want to risk being seen as “goofing off.”
  • 13% of respondents take zero breaks throughout the day, citing that is just the way they are, they work until they are done.
  • 32% of respondents take one to two breaks throughout the day to maintain their productivity level, about the same as they did when working in the office.
  • 17% said taking one to two breaks throughout the day to maintain their productivity level seems about right for them.
  • 16% of respondents say they need to take three to five breaks throughout the day to maintain their productivity level. They find they need to take more breaks now because there are fewer distractions at home.
  • 8% take three to five breaks throughout the day to maintain their productivity level because too much screen time is slowing them down.
  • 5% of respondents take more than five breaks throughout the day to maintain their productivity level, claiming it is stressful enough right now, so they need to take breaks.
  • 4% of respondents admit to taking more than five breaks throughout the day because no one’s here checking on them, so why not?

Since commuting is no longer a concern, do you spend the extra time practicing healthy habits like daily workouts, cooking meals, etc.?

  • Since commuting is no longer a concern, 34% of respondents spend the extra time practicing healthy habits. They said the extra free time allows them to explore my creative options.
  • 26% of respondents report spending the extra time practicing healthy habits, but they also find themselves being sucked into bad habits like Netflix, family drama and Zoom calls.  
  • 20% of respondents say they do not spend the extra time on practicing healthy habits, they are actually eating and drinking more – and letting their health routines lapse entirely.
  • 19% of respondents say they are not spending their extra time practicing healthy habits, any extra time has been consumed with family, housekeeping and locating sources of toilet paper.
     

Do you feel that the growth of technology has played a role in the success of remote work?

  • 65% of respondents feel that the growth of technology has played a role in the success of remote work without a doubt. They could not have worked from home 5 years ago.
  • 15% of respondents do not feel that the growth of technology has played a role in the success of remote work, they could still do their job without new technology.
  • 18% feel indifferent about the growth of technology playing a role in success of remote work, saying they will use it if it is available, but they are not worried about it affecting their job.

Post COVID-19 pandemic, do you feel remote work will eventually replace physical offices?

  • 16% of respondents feel that remote work will eventually replace physical offices post COVID-19, citing their productivity rate has stayed the same, if not increased.
  • 26% of respondents feel that remote work will eventually replace physical offices post pandemic, but basically because businesses will realize it saves them on real estate costs.
  • 34% of respondents do not believe that remote work will eventually replace physical offices post pandemic, claiming physical offices should still be an option because human interaction is important in business.
  • 7% of respondents do not believe remote work will replace physical offices post-pandemic because businesses will realize remote working is not as productive as office working.
  • 17% of respondents feel indifferent about if remote work will replace physical offices post-pandemic because they feel employees should have both options, remote work and a physical office space.

Do you find it difficult to manage or maintain work relationships while working remotely?

  • 28% of respondents find it difficult to manage or maintain work relationships while working remotely. They miss interacting with co-workers - even if they do get more work done remotely.
  • 32% of respondents find it difficult to manage work relationships remotely, citing maintaining important relationships with colleagues is difficult without being in the office.
  • 30% of respondents do not find it difficult to manage work relationships while working remotely, saying they have been able to maintain solid relationships regardless of working remotely.
  • 10% of respondents do not find it difficult to manage work relationships while working remotely, claiming work relationships are overrated and they do not need them to still perform well.

​​​​​​​Has your stress level increased or decreased since working remotely?

  • 18% of respondents’ stress level has increased since working remotely, citing it has gotten worse because of working at home.
  • 26% of respondents’ stress level has increased since working from home, but claim the reason has nothing to do with working remotely.
  • 19% of respondents’ stress level has decreased since working remotely, claiming it has gotten better because working remotely is somewhat liberating.
  • 8% of respondents’ stress level has decreased since working remotely because they don’t feel as micromanaged.
  • 5% of respondents’ stress level has decreased since working remotely because they don’t feel they are being exposed to the virus.
  • 24% of respondents’ stress level has stayed about the same since working remotely.

​​​​​​​Since working remotely, what technology have you found most helpful?

  • 41% of respondents have found video conference calling apps, like Zoom or Skype, to be the most helpful since working remotely.
  • 19% of respondents have found messaging apps, like Microsoft Teams or Slack, to be the most helpful since working remotely.
  • 5% of respondents have found project management platforms, such as Trello or Monday, to be the most helpful since working remotely.
  • 12% have found online file sharing, like Google Drive and Dropbox, to be the most helpful.
  • 24% of respondents haven’t found apps and platforms to be really helpful since working remotely, they just rely on email and phone.

​​​​​​​Are you or the company you work for concerned about potential privacy risks associated with working from home?

  • 46% of respondents are not concerned about potential privacy risks associated with working from home because they have the right security measures in place to avoid any situation like that.
  • 28% of respondents are concerned about potential privacy risks associated with working from home, claiming employees are on their own Wi-Fi networks which are potentially open to attacks.
  • 6% are concerned about potential privacy risks associated with working from home – and have even gotten ‘Zoom bombed!’
  • 20% feel indifferent about potential privacy risks associated with working from home, claiming they haven’t thought about this concern.

​​​​​​​How will you feel about going back to work after restrictions are lifted?

  • 33% of respondents feel great about going back to work after restricts are lifted, they can’t wait to go back into the office.

  • 38% of respondents feel nervous about going back to work after restrictions are lifted, saying they’ll have to see what safety measures they’ve put in place.
  • 20% of respondents like working from home and will try to work out an arrangement to continue doing so with their boss after restrictions are lifted.
  • 6% of respondents will not like going back to work after restrictions are lifted but claim their boss will make them.
  • 3% of respondents don’t plan to return to work after restrictions are lifted, even if they have to quit.

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