Remote Work Appears Here to Stay, But There are Obstacles That Don’t Happen in the Office

Nearly 60% of Americans have the opportunity to work from home at least one day a week, according to the results of a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, and more than one-third of Americans are able to work from home five days a week.

Of those eligible to work from home, 87% of them choose to do so, according to the survey. “What makes these numbers particularly notable is that respondents work in all kinds of jobs, in every part of the country and sector of the economy, including traditionally labeled ‘blue collar’ jobs that might be expected to demand on-site labor as well as ‘white collar’ professions,” according to the report.

Moreover, a flexible working arrangement is now one of the top three motivators when finding a new job. Twenty-one percent of respondents said working remotely was the motivation for seeking a new job, trailing only greater pay or hours (47%), and better career opportunities (27%).

Perhaps not surprising to anyone, while workers want the opportunity to work from home, doing so presents more obstacles to achieving peak performance than working in the office does. Those issues included access to reliable, high-speed Internet, mental health issues, demands at home for childcare, and access to transportation to and from work. “The survey results identify obstacles to optimal performance that underscore a need for employers to support workers with issues that interfere with effective work,” according to the authors of the report. “Companies will want to be thoughtful about which roles can be done partly or fully remotely — and be open to the idea that there could be more of these than is immediately apparent.”

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