We asked our entire community how they feel about working from home: the benefits, the drawbacks, and what it all means for the future of work. We even crunched the numbers, and put together an infographic on all the ups and downs that come with adapting to working from home. While most of our community has adapted well to working from home, the adjustment hasn’t come without some struggles. Ultimately, the key has been to try to find balance, and accept that no one has all of the answers.
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The State of Work From Home
A third of us are really enjoying the new-found flexibility that comes with working from home. For many of us, not having to commute anymore is a key contributing factor to that increased flexibility. It’s probably one of the reasons almost a quarter of us now say there’s a greater work-life balance since the shift from office to home. It’s a lot easier to get outside right after work without having to travel home first. Plus, having access to a full kitchen for every lunch is a huge bonus. The Shift community has definitely come to enjoy the perks that come with working from home! All of these perks might be some of the reason nearly half of people who responded said they are actually more productive at home than at the office.
But some of the struggles are real
Unfortunately, it hasn’t all been easy. Many people find it difficult to unplug after work. When asked, 30% of our community said their single biggest struggle while working from home is unplugging after work. It makes sense, as the lines between work and life are increasingly blurred as we carry out work days from our kitchens, living rooms or even bedrooms. It’s still important to make time for friends and family, even if more of that time is now spent connecting virtually or physically distanced. Many people are also finding that there are too many distractions at home to effectively get work done. It’s a lot to ask of people to stay 100% focused on work during regular hours when schools are closed, our normal support systems are diminished, and we are faced everyday with difficult news.
We’ve been keeping busy
In spite of it all, we’ve been keeping busy with hobbies. Learning a new skill, reading and cooking or baking have been the most popular ways to stay entertained. Given that one of the first quarantine crazes was baking sourdough bread, it’s no surprise that so many people in our community responded that way! Streaming services like Netflix have also been a huge guilty pleasure for the Shift community. Even though it’s tempting to want to stay indoors right now, it’s still important to get outside everyday — it’s a great way to both boost your mood, and productivity.
Work from home is probably here to stay
The responses from our community were overwhelmingly in favor of working at home either part-time or full-time in the future with 51% hoping for part-time and 40% said they’d prefer full-time. Only 8% said they ever want to return to working in the office full-time. And, a majority are either uncomfortable returning to the office, or still unsure if it’s the right decision for them. It will be hard to convince people to ever return to working in the office full-time when the preference for working from home has been made clear. The future of work has changed forever, and employers will need to be flexible in adjusting to the new expectations of employees when it comes to working from home.
The future of work
Many countries and companies are now thinking about moving to a four-day work week. One of our app partners, Buffer, recently announced they are moving to a four-day work week for the remainder of the year. Buffer’s reason? Based on a one month pilot project found that the shortened work week led to three key outcomes: higher autonomy, lower stress levels, and higher worker happiness. New Zealand is considering the approach as well, in part to encourage local tourism and boost the economy. Promoting a greater work-life balance through a four-day work week could be one positive change that will happen in the future of work.
Let us know where you stand
Ultimately, the mix of responses in favor, or not in favor, of working from home show that there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. We want to know where you stand: are you eager to get back to the office, or loving working from home? Or, maybe you’re somewhere in between. Tweet us @Get_Shift and let us know!