BCG survey: 35% of US workers favour full-time home working

By Kate Birch
Boston Consulting Group and The Network’s Decoding Global Ways Of Working surveys 209,000 workers in 190 countries about impact of pandemic on attitud...

The second in a series of three extensive surveys conducted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and The Network (a global alliance of more than 60 leading recruitment websites) highlights changing attitudes towards working from home following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey of 209,00 people in 190 countries showed the lasting impact the pandemic may have on the workplace and attitudes towards work from home and digital transformation.

The survey showed 89% of people expect to be able to work from home to some degree once the global crisis is over. Those with the highest expectations for home working – more than 90% – work in digital and knowledge-based positions. However, even those working in manual labour roles and manufacturing expect to be able to complete some of their work offsite in future.

The findings suggest workers are looking for flexibility rather than a total rejection of traditional location-based roles. Only one in four workers would switch completely to remote working if able to do so, with those in developing countries more in favour of work from home models (South Africa 44 per cent, India 39 per cent). 

And 64% of workers would prefer to have flexible hours rather than a traditional 9-to-5.

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WFH, pay, social values and the environment matter most

Interestingly, developed countries tend to be less interested in WFH, with respondents from the US being a notable exception, with 35% happy to work from home full time. 

As well as flexibility, financial compensation is also growing in importance. This was especially true for those surveyed in China, Poland and China, and comes behind only good workplace relationships and good work-life balance in global priorities.

Work expectations have also been impacted by the likes of Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movement, prompting workers to put more focus on social values. The environment is also high on the agenda and the survey suggests organisations that respond to workers’ concerns will fare best when trying to attract talent.

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