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Gensler US Work From Home Survey 2020

Gensler worked with a third party to conduct an online, anonymous survey of 2,000+ U.S workers across 10 different industries. Most want to go back to the office, but everyone expects to return to a better workplace than the one they left.

October 30, 2020

Only 12% of U.S. workers want to work from home full-time. Most want to return to the workplace, but with critical changes.

The U.S. workforce has now collectively experienced working from home as a result of COVID-19. The majority want to return to the workplace.

After working from home for over a month, we found that only one in eight respondents would like to work from home full-time after the pandemic is over. Most want to spend the majority of their normal workweek at the office while maintaining the ability to work from home for part of the week. And over a quarter of the workforce is still undecided. Notably, the quality of the work environment workers left directly correlates to their interest in returning: on average, the more satisfied a respondent was with their prior work environment, the fewer days they want to work from home.

The post-COVID workplace needs to be all about connecting people and creating community.

The dramatic shift toward working from home has crystallized the reasons why we come into the office. When asked about the most important reasons to come into the office, respondents overwhelmingly chose activities focused on people and the community, including scheduled meetings, socializing, and face-to-face time. Over 40% of workers also list access to technology and the ability to focus on their work as key reasons to come in.

Working from home is challenging how we collaborate and connect with our peers.

When questioned about what they miss most about working from the office, respondents’ answers reinforce the focus on people: by far the top factor people miss is “the people,” noted by three out of four survey participants. Workers also report that collaborating and staying up to date on others’ activities and projects can be more challenging to do at home than in the office, emphasizing the value of physical presence and connections.

U.S. Work From Home Survey 2020 Methodology

The U.S. Work From Home Survey 2020 was conducted online through an anonymous, panel-based survey of over 2,300 U.S.-based workers who were full-time employees of a company of 100+ people. Each respondent routinely worked within an office environment prior to COVID-19 and was currently working from home at the time when the survey was released between April 16 and May 4, 2020. Responses were evenly distributed across 10 industries and represent a wide range of seniority levels, roles, ages, and geographies.

Download a PDF of Gensler's 2020 US WFH Survey Results

Get the PDF of the study on Gensler's website.

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