Majority of Americans Working from Home Due to Pandemic Eager to Return to the Workplace, If Done Safely

Wednesday, January 6th, 2021

An overwhelming majority (71%) of employed Americans who are currently working from home but went into the workplace before the pandemic say they are eager to return to the workplace if it can be done safely, a new nationwide online survey commissioned by OfficeSpace Software and conducted by The Harris Poll among more than 1,200 employed adults found.

However, fewer than half (44%) of employed Americans currently go into the workplace each day, and just 17% have returned to the workplace on a staggered schedule. And more than half of employed Americans who are currently working from home but went into the workplace before the pandemic (54%) said they would consider leaving their job if their employer required them to return to the workplace before they felt comfortable.

It may take more than the impending vaccine to help employed Americans feel comfortable returning to a new dynamic workplace. According to the survey, while more than half (52%) of employed Americans say an impending COVID vaccine has a major to moderate impact on their confidence to return to the workplace or their comfort being in the workplace, 26% say the vaccine has no impact on their confidence to return to the workplace/comfort being in the workplace.

“The safe return to the workplace remains uncertain for businesses and employees alike. The common thread we see is that most aren’t ready to return until there are a clear variety of safety measures in place,” said David Cocchiara, OfficeSpace CEO. “Hand sanitizer, masks and social distancing are table stakes. Companies that embrace technology to help them prepare for the new dynamic workplace will find they have happier and more engaged employees who feel safe and comfortable in the workplace.”

OfficeSpace, the creator of better workplaces, commissioned The Harris Poll to conduct a survey to better understand the sentiments of employed Americans who are working from home around returning to the workplace.

Americans Miss the Workplace

Americans miss the workplace and miss interacting with their colleagues. It’s clear why: 72% of employed Americans feel more engaged when in the office, and 70% feel more productive when in the office. And an overwhelming majority of Americans currently working from home but who went into the workplace before the pandemic (80%) miss in-person collaboration with their colleagues. This led to a not so surprising finding that employed Americans are tired of video conferences (57%).

Safety is a top concern

In addition to common COVID-19 protocols (masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing), the top three things that would make employed Americans feel safe/would have made them feel safe returning to the workplace full time are:

  • Limited/reduced capacity in the office (40%).
  • Employees having to pass online health screenings before coming into the workplace (36%).
  • Eliminating in-person meetings (32%).

 In addition to limited in-person interaction, technology and tools such as a visual directory (18%), automated room booking (11%), and desk booking/hoteling (8%) would make them feel safe/would have made them feel safe returning to the workplace full time.

The complexities of a dynamic workplace are always evolving. Even before the pandemic, OfficeSpace was developing new, innovative ways for companies to manage their workplaces. OfficeSpace provides everything companies need to manage their workplace, helping them – and their employees – to be comfortable and safe in their workspace.