Without remote options, 62% working parents will quit, new FlexJobs data says

FlexJobs surveyed 1,100 parents with children 18 or younger living at home to assess what a return to on-premises jobs means.

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Image: Shutterstock/Zoran Zeremski

If they can't continue to work remotely, 62% of working parents said they would quit their current jobs and 48% felt very strongly ("absolutely") they would look for another job that would continue their satisfaction with the work-from-home model. FlexJobs' latest survey showed simply that working parents want to work from home. 

The focus of the new data is to better understand working parents' experiences throughout the pandemic. The more than 1,100 respondents surveyed were working parents with children aged 18 or younger who were still living at home. Thirty-eight percent said they had to either reduce their hours or quit their jobs entirely because of the pandemic and childcare responsibilities. 

The compatibility of remote work with their lives has such a profound effect, 23% said they would give up their vacation time, and 19% said they would take a 10% pay cut if they could continue working remotely. They offered to work more hours (17%), and give up health benefits (16%), too. Thirteen percent said they would forgo employer-matching retirement contributions.

SEE: Working from home: The future of business is remote (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature) | Working from home: How to get remote right (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

COVID-19 exposures or infection remain a top concern (53%), but the impact in-person work has on their personal lives is critical:

  1. 49% cite childcare/child giving responsibilities
  2. 48% worry they will have less flexibility
  3. 46% are concerned they will have less work-life balance
  4. 32% fear a lack of health and safety measures
  5. 31% want to avoid office politics and distractions

As the pandemic slows in the U.S. and going back to a brick-and-mortar office increasingly becomes more of a reality, 61% of parents want to work remotely full time and 37% said they prefer a hybrid situation. 

While eating at home more often may have something significant to do with it, working parents said they saved considerably by working from home, and 21% said they've saved more than $10,000. On average, working parents report a savings of:

  • Between $51 and $100 per week ($3,900 per year): 33%
  • Between $26 and $50 per week ($2,000 per year): 22%
  • More than $200 per week (over $10,000 per year): 21%
  • Between $101 and $200 per week ($7,800 per year): 16%
  • Less than $25 per week: 6%
  • None: 2%

The pandemic was actually good for employee/employer relationships, and 65% said they "generally" have felt supported by their employers throughout the pandemic.

But the invariable long hours of working and living in the same space caused burnout for 60% of respondents. Comparatively, 56% of the general population said they were burned out.

Working parents have found it difficult to create boundaries. Those struggles include:

  • Unable to unplug after work or working too much: 40%
  • Dealing with non-work distractions: 36%
  • Unreliable Wi-Fi: 28%
  • Troubleshooting technology problems: 26%
  • Video meeting fatigue: 24%
  • Communicating in real-time: 21%
  • Too many video meetings: 19%
  • Relationships with co-workers harder to manage: 18%
  • Relationships with bosses harder to manage: 16%
  • Collaborating/interacting is difficult: 16%
  • Working across different time zones: 14%

Despite the satisfaction with remote work, 41% said their mental health is worse today than it was pre-pandemic. Thirty-eight percent of the general populace concurred.

Sixty-six percent said they believe that remote work will help improve gender equity.

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By N.F. Mendoza

N.F. Mendoza is a writer at TechRepublic and based in Los Angeles. She has a BA in Broadcast Journalism and Cinema Critical Studies and a Master's of Professional Writing, both from USC. Nadine has more than 20 years experience as a journalist coveri...