The National Wellness Institute asked, in a LinkedIn poll, “What work week environment do you envision as being the most optimal for high-level wellness and high productivity?”
Confirming similar survey data from other sources,
- 3% favored being in the office 5 days a week
- 20% preferred 4 10-hour days a week
- 53% said a hybrid of 3 days in the office, 2 days remote
- 24% wanted to be remote the whole work week.
I wonder, when I see data like this, how one would have responded if they worked in a store, in a hospital, on a tarmac, at a restaurant, at construction sites, on a farm, picking up trash, or driving a bus.
Only about 45% of US employees work in occupations for which working from home (aka telework or remote work) is feasible, according to an analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This may be an overestimate, as BLS had determined just a year prior that 29% of employees “could” work from home.
Employers should grant workers as much flexibility as possible (for achieving the goals of both the organization and the employee) regarding when and where they work. But we should consider whether increased work-from-home opportunities for office workers will amplify disparities already prominent in the US.
To assume office work is the norm is a shaky way to start the conversation.