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How A Pandemic Made Americans Better Workers

Workers

Work from home statistics show that 82% of telecommuters report lower stress levels, which, in turn, means happier, more engaged employees. That’s the sort of employee that ends up being more productive, and it may lead to a remote megatrend that gets rid of all sorts of office-related overhead for companies around the world.  For many, that work-related stress might be even lower once the pandemic of over, quarantines lifted and they stop sharing close quarters with shut-in kids, spouses and others.

States that are less impacted by coronavirus are opening up businesses, while those hit hard are talking about easing up on some restrictions, with companies summoning employees back to the roost. But not across the board …

Some companies--most notably in the tech industry, plan to continue to play the remote work game and keep their physical offices closed longer. 

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square announced that employees of two companies will be able to work from home permanently, even once offices begin to reopen. 

Google has told employees that the vast majority of them will work from home until 2021. As a bonus, the company will give $1,000 to each worker that works from home to compensate for equipment expenses. 

Facebook announced it would start reopening offices after the July 4th weekend but would let employees who are able to work from home do so until next year. 

Of all major tech companies, it seems that only Apple has requested that some employees return to work--physically. 

Remote work was accelerating in the U.S even before the pandemic. The share of the labor force that works from home tripled in the past 15 years, due to available technology and living costs in big cities.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 5.2% of workers or 8 million people in the US worked full-time at home, while 43 percent worked from home at least some of the time. Now, with the pandemic shuttering workplaces, that figure has skyrocketed globally. 

A new Gallup poll shows that the majority of those forced to work from home during the pandemic are not emotionally ready to return to the office.

Related: Has Re-Opening The Economy Been Successful?

Only one in four remote workers wants to return to the workplace once restrictions are lifted, poll found.  Another quarter are reluctant to return specifically because of concerns about contracting COVID-19, while half have a personal preference for working remotely. 

The pandemic is also accelerating this trend in other ways: Not only are some companies going to continue to allow employees to work from home, but some are even considering the creation of new remote job positions. 

A survey by Cybersecurity Insiders found that 33% of U.S. companies anticipate some positions moving to permanent remote work and over half planning to increase their budget for secure remote work in the near-term.

A Global Workplace Analytics survey found that some 56% of the US workforce holds a job that is compatible with remote work, either partially or in full. It also estimates that by the end of 2021, some 30% of the total workforce will be working at home on a multiple-days-a-week basis.

Nearly 50% of those who work from home say that they’re very satisfied with the way they live and work. This is an incredibly huge number compared to 27% of those who are happy in their office jobs.

Despite breaks--and possibly even naps and juggling other domestic duties, remote workers have proven to be significantly more productive. And productivity is a major issue in the US, as it is estimated that actively disengaged employees cause U.S. companies $450 – $550 billion in lost productivity annually.

By Michael Scott for Safehaven.com

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