People Want Remote Work To Stay. Here’s Why.
A recent study by Digital.com provided a peek into the more intimate reasons why office workers are reluctant to get back to the office. From the more obvious reasons such as child-care and cutting commute times, the study also reveals a few interesting factors that drive this preference for remote work. More importantly, this reveals a deeper understanding of what we don’t miss about the traditional 9-5 office workday.
Commuting and Childcare
If there’s one thing remote workers have expressed relief over, it’s not having to make the exhausting commuting to and from work. The 2-3 hours spent on public transportation (or being stuck in a traffic jam) can often be immensely draining. Most can’t find the time or energy to spend time with their loved ones or catch up on a hobby.
This traditional 9-5 workday we were all once familiar with was especially taxing on working parents. By cutting commute times and providing parents with more flexibility to balance their work schedules with their domestic obligations, working parents find themselves able to spend more quality time with their children.
Whether it’s picking the kids up from school or attending an evening badminton session at your local community centre, a more balanced and rounded work life does wonders for employee productivity and satisfaction.
While some have children, others have furrier members of the household to care for. According to Digital’s study, 75% of respondents wanted to stay home due to their pets. Beyond companionship, pets are also an important responsibility. A flexible work schedule allows busy pet owners to weave in between office obligations and caring for their pet.
Not to mention, our furry friends give our minds a break especially during stressful days! CNBC reported on how pets help to ‘buffer stress, boost productivity and keep (employees) happy’ while working from home.
More than ‘60% of the respondents said that they are worried about how they look’. After months of taking Zoom calls in pyjamas, or, not opting for video calls at all. Some employees may feel conscious about returning to the office. Dressing up, worrying about how one looks throughout the work day can be incredibly distracting and almost stressful for some.
Apart from appearances, some may not enjoy having to make small talk with colleagues at the office on days where they just aren’t ‘in the zone’. It’s important to remember that remote work’s emphasis on result-based evaluation, and not in-person time with the boss is what makes it such an efficient and productive work arrangement.
Whether employees are working from their couch or checked-in at a coworking cafe, what matters at the end of the day is the quality of their work and their ability to meet deadlines.
Music and Exercise
The survey’s respondents reported enjoying listening to podcasts and music while working. Does it count as slacking off? On the contrary, music can boost your productivity. Music has been found to ‘improve both productivity and cognitive performance, especially in adults’. Music streaming applications such as Spotify and even YouTube have a host of curated playlists designed for concentration and focus.
Even background noise such as the buzz of the TV or podcasts can bump up employee productivity. Research shows that a ‘moderate level of ambient noise’ helps to boost productivity and creativity.
The study reported that a good 72% of employees wanted the freedom to exercise and rest. This can be an incredibly important ritual for employees going through bouts of pandemic fatigue or burnout. It’s time we recognised that the unproductive demands of a sedentary 9-5 day at the office, with no scheduling flexibility whatsoever is an outdated concept.
By giving employees time to care for themselves, adapting workplace evaluations to fit the more balanced, flexible work schedules, businesses are working towards a more loyal and competitive workforce.
Deskimo is the flexible work platform of choice that helps businesses navigate the new future of work. With us, you and your business can adapt to flexible work, and pay-as-you-go across dozens of spaces in Singapore and Hong Kong.
*Our workspaces are currently safe, open and ready for your return. Do adhere to local Covid-19 safety measures to keep yourself, and other workspace patrons safe.
*Note: Meeting room capacities are subject to changes according to local Covid-19 restrictions.