LAST UPDATE: FEB. 24, 2021

Tracking the Return to Normal: Work & Offices

Morning Consult is tracking how safe employees feel returning to work in light of the COVID-19 pandemic
By: Peyton Shelburne

 

This tracker is part of a series from Morning Consult gauging when consumers will return to normal activities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more and sign up for alerts.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the traditional U.S. office model, forcing companies to rethink their policies on remote work as they consider the benefits and drawbacks, and creating challenges for nearly every type of workplace. To help employers navigate this new reality, Morning Consult is closely tracking employees’ perceptions about working remotely, their comfort levels in returning to the office and traveling for work, and future considerations about company policies on remote work. The primary demographic group tracked on this page are “current remote workers,” which refers to U.S. adults who usually work from an office but are working remotely due to the pandemic.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Half of Current Remote Workers Would Feel Comfortable Returning to the Office if Their Employer Asked53 percent of current remote workers would feel comfortable returning to an office environment, roughly in line with the average over the past two months.

At the Same Time, 65 percent Would not Return to the Office Unless all Their Coworkers Have Been Vaccinated: Almost 7 in 10 current remote workers would like to return to an office as soon as it is safe. At the same time, 76 percent trust their employer to make the right decision about when their office can return to work.

The Majority of Workers Feel They are More Productive Working Remotely64 percent of remote workers reported that they are more productive. Furthermore, 78 percent of remote workers enjoy working remotely, and 68 percent would be more likely to apply for a job that offers a remote work option.

About 1 in 4 Americans Would Feel Comfortable Attending a Work Conference: 41 percent would feel “very uncomfortable.” Americans are also similarly uncomfortable with traveling domestically for work and even more uncomfortable with international travel. Meanwhile, only 24 percent would feel comfortable going to an office party.

Half of Current Remote Workers Would Feel Comfortable Returning to the Office if Their Employer Asked
Adults who are currently working remotely were asked, "If your office announced that you could return to your normal workplace starting next week, how comfortable would you feel returning to the office?"
Weekly surveys are conducted among an average of 400 U.S. adults who usually work from an office but are working remotely due to the pandemic.

Tracking Consideration for Returning to Work
The share of current remote workers who said they agree with each of the following statements:
Weekly surveys are conducted among an average of 400 U.S. adults who usually work from an office but are working remotely due to the pandemic.

Tracking Perceptions of Remote Work
The share of current remote workers who said they agree with each of the following statements:
Weekly surveys are conducted among an average of 400 U.S. adults who usually work from an office but are working remotely due to the pandemic.

About 1 in 4 Americans Would Feel Comfortable Traveling for Work
The share of U.S. adults who said they feel comfortable doing the following activities right now:
Weekly surveys are conducted among a national sample of 2200 Adults.

TRACKING THE RETURN TO NORMAL

When will things return to normal and what will our new normal look like? It’s a question that business, economic and government leaders are grappling with as more and more Americans receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

To help answer this complicated question, Morning Consult is tracking how consumer attitudes are shifting across a wide range of categories, from travel to entertainment to dining, to gain greater insight into not only when consumers will be ready to return to their normal activities, but how their habits will be forever changed. We’ll be updating these pages every week with new data and analyses. Sign up for alerts below.

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