A Man Working from Home Photo: Business Insider

When to stop working from home? How about ‘never’, say workers

*Not that workforces hate the idea of returning to office, but they’ve grown to really like work-from-home (WFH) life ─Report

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As several companies are trying to get their workforce back to the office, following gradual reopening of economies amid the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic across the globe, several employees are not embracing the idea of returning just yet.

The US workers who are being shepherded back to the office would rather continue doing their jobs from home, at least a few days a week, a Bloomberg report said.

It’s not that they hate the idea of returning, but more that they’ve grown to really like the work-from-home (WFH) life.

It is becoming the big topic of conversation across virtual workplaces, as companies try to get employees to leave their makeshift desks in bedrooms, kitchen counters, porches or backyards for the once-familiar surroundings of the good old office.

Workers in Office

A Wells Fargo/Gallup survey released Wednesday, September 23 found 42% of 1,094 workers surveyed in August had a positive view of working remotely, versus 14% who viewed it negatively.

Almost a third of the 1,200 U.S. office workers surveyed by consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers in June 2020 said they’d prefer to never go back to the office, while 72% said they’d like to work away from the office at least two days a week.

Until recently, for those lucky enough to still have a job and to be able to do it from home, the question of whether they wanted to return to the office was theoretical. Now the prospect’s real.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has told its most senior sales and trading staff that they need to be in the office by Sept. 21.

(There are exceptions for those with health or childcare issues.) At other firms, workers are being encouraged rather than commanded to come back, and employees are debating whether that means they have a choice to opt out of returning.

A June survey of 1,000 professionals by management consulting firm Korn Ferry asked a simple question: “What are you most looking forward to when you return to the office?”

About half pointed to camaraderie with colleagues, though 20% said they looked forward to nothing at all.

Health worries were cited by half the people in the Korn Ferry survey.

According to a person with knowledge of the matter, JPMorgan sent some of its Manhattan workers home this week after an employee in its equities trading group tested positive for COVID-19.

Nearly two thirds of workers say they’re more productive working from home —even with kids or a partner around, according to the Korn Ferry survey.

JPMorgan, however, found that productivity took a hit, particularly among younger workers on Mondays and Fridays.

Sentiment about working from home seems to diverge along gender lines. It was viewed much more positively by women than men in the Wells Fargo/Gallup survey —48% to men’s 34% — and many more women than men had actually worked from home before the pandemic.

Kim Ta, Head of Client Service and Advice for Wells Fargo Advisors, said: “For working women who have an internal debate over not being home enough, about juggling work and family, the work-from-home situation can quiet the noise in our minds.”

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