Working from home is now widely viewed as a positive

For many employees, this could be permanent, causing them to reconsider where they live, Netskope's future of work survey reveals.

woman working from home

Image: ijeab, Getty Images/iStockPhotos

By now, people have learned to adjust to working from home, and a newly released Future of Work survey reveals that an overwhelming majority (92%) of respondents have found COVID-related work from home to be a positive, or at least status quo, experience overall.

The research by Netskope outlines how its users have navigated WFH since March and what respondents see as the most important factors heading into 2021.

The 92% figure "doesn't just speak to this experience working from home being positive, but that users are also more open to having WFH as an option in future roles," according to a Netskope blog.

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And 75% of users surveyed said they would take advantage of more permanent work from home opportunities if given the opportunity, while 76% said that offering permanent work from home options would make a future employer more attractive to them.

Nearly half of respondents (48%) said they never worked from home before the pandemic began. Many viewed it as a perk companies offered, usually around the holiday season.  

One-third (33%) of respondents said "yes" when asked if the shift to remote working had caused them to reconsider where they live.

One of the biggest pain points organizations have always tried to solve when it comes to remote working is collaboration, Netskope noted. While this is easily enabled in an office setting, remote collaboration can take some getting used to. 

Some 68% of respondents felt they had adequate collaboration tools, like Slack, Trello, Microsoft Teams, and Asana, to encourage productivity while working from home, according to the survey.

That said, from this same group of respondents, 59% said they found collaboration harder or saw no change from before, "which certainly brings into question the effectiveness of those collaboration tools," Netskope said.

Along these lines, when respondents were asked to pick the best aspects of working from home "better collaboration" ranked lowest at 14%.

No commute was ranked as the best aspect of working from home for nearly 92% of respondents, followed by "feel safer" with less exposure to the virus at 58%; "better work-life balance" (35%); "less disruptions," at just over 34%; and more productive" at almost 34%.

"All of this indicates that while we may have the adequate tools in place, organizations need to find a way to better enable that collaboration in their remote workforce, especially since they are likely going to keep going for the foreseeable future," Netskope said.

One of the strongest takeaways was the mindset change that permanent remote work options are instilling in the workforce, the firm said.

For example, 33% of users surveyed responded "yes" when asked if the shift to remote working had caused them to reconsider where they live.

"Couple that with the overwhelming embrace and desire for more permanent remote working options," Netskope said, "and it becomes very clear that there's a level of flexibility that comes with a predominantly remote workforce."

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