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Working from home trend won’t go away with the COVID pandemic, survey shows

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(NEXSTAR) – Of the many ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the world, remote work won’t be going away anytime soon, it appears.

While not all businesses were able to shift their employees to a work-from-home schedule after the virus sent the U.S. economy spiraling in early 2020, a survey by nonprofit The Conference Board found that those that did are more likely to embrace remote work in a post-pandemic scenario.

The online think tank surveyed 152 executives, mostly in large U.S. companies from a broad range of industries, in April of 2020, and found that remote work could be the most influential legacy of COVID-19.

Executives from less than one in 10 companies said they had more than 20 percent of their full-time employees working from home before the pandemic, but 77 percent said that, after the pandemic, they expected an increase in workers who spend at least three days a week at home.

Of the five most significant changes businesses expected to see during the recovery phase, remote work was number one, followed by disaster recovery plans; health and safety measures in the workplace; flexibility and remote work policies; and employee engagement.

A report from Bloomberg found that some employees have become so comfortable working from home that they’d rather quit than be forced back to the office.

Mother Portia Twidt said she quit her job as a research compliance specialist amid pressure to return to in-person meetings. Twidt said having to dress up, drop her children at daycare and drive to the office for a six-minute meeting in February pushed her over the edge.

“They feel like we’re not working if they can’t see us,” she told Bloomberg. “It’s a boomer power-play.”

A survey by online job site Flex Work found that 58% of respondents said they would “absolutely” look for a new job if they weren’t allowed to continue working from home. “Cost savings” and “not having a commute” were the top two benefits of remote work, the survey found.

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