LAST UPDATE: May 12, 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.

Morning Consult is tracking pent-up demand and excitement for many of the activities listed on this page. Bookmark this page for weekly updates of these figures, and read our deep dive on which industries will see a post-pandemic boom in consumer demand.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Comfort Returning to the Office Reaches Record High Among Current Remote Workers: This week, 69 percent said they would feel comfortable returning to an office environment, and only 27 percent would still feel uncomfortable.

More Current Remote Workers Would Feel Comfortable Returning to the Office Than Would Like to Return: Although about 7 in 10 (69 percent) of current remote workers say they would feel comfortable returning to the office, only 61 percent would like to return to the office as soon as it is safe. Sixty-three percent of current remote workers want all their coworkers to be vaccinated before they return to an office. 

The Majority of Workers Enjoy Remote Work: Eighty percent of current remote workers enjoy working remotely. Furthermore, 65 percent of remote workers reported that they are more productive, and the same share would be more likely to apply for a job that offers a remote work option.

4 in 10 Americans Would Feel Comfortable With Domestic Travel For Work: This week, 40 percent of Americans would feel comfortable traveling domestically for work, and 25 percent would be comfortable with international travel for work. The share of Americans who would feel comfortable going to an office party continues to grow, reaching 34 percent this week.

Comfort Returning to the Office Reaches Record High Among Current Remote Workers
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.

4 in 10 Americans Would Feel Comfortable With Domestic Travel 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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