Companies looking to attract and retain talent should review their remote work policies, as most knowledge workers now say that they want the opportunity to work remotely, the results of a recent survey conducted by business automation consultancy Zapier indicate.
The survey of 886 U.S. knowledge workers—defined as workers who primarily work in a professional setting and use a computer as part of their job—was conducted October 25-29, 2019. The aim of the survey was to explore the reasons why people want to work remotely, and how this trend is shaping the ways people work.
The results showed that 95% of the knowledge workers surveyed want to work remotely, and 74% would be willing to quit a job to do so. According to the survey, 26% of respondents have quit a job because the company did not offer the option to work remotely or to have a flexible work schedule.
When asked what perks they would most like to be offered by an employer, 57% of respondents cited the option to work remotely; a larger percentage than the shares of respondents who cited being provided with free daily lunch (42%) or unlimited vacation time (39%). The findings further indicated that 62% of the female knowledge workers surveyed, but just 53% of their male counterparts, cited the option to work remotely as one of the perks they would most want an employer to offer.
The survey also found that there are generational differences in the likelihood of working remotely, with 31% of millennials, 27% of Gen Xers, and just 11% of the baby boomers polled saying they work remotely on a full-time basis.
When asked why they would like to work remotely, 48% of the knowledge workers said that they see it as a way to save money, while 47% indicated that they view it as an opportunity to work from anywhere, and 44% said they believe it would allow them to spend more time with their family. Among the other reasons cited by respondents for wanting to work remotely are that they are more productive at home (35%), and that working remotely is better for their mental health (29%) and is more environmentally sustainable (23%). Smaller shares of the knowledge workers surveyed said they would like to work remotely in order to spend more time with pets (18%), relocate somewhere more affordable (16%), or care for aging parents (16%).
The survey also showed that 42% of respondents believe they are most productive when working from home, while only 32% think they get more done in an office, and just 11% believe they get the most work done in a co-working space.Â When asked how many hours of each workday they spend doing meaningful work, the full-time remote knowledge workers surveyed said they typically spend 6.2 hours, whereas their office-bound counterparts reported spending just 5.7 hours.