Are you now comfortable working from home? Would you rather quit your job than return to an office environment? That’s exactly what’s happening across the country, according to a report from Bloomberg Wealth which has found that workers are not down with the return-to-the-office plans some companies are now implementing.
“A May survey of 1,000 U.S. adults showed that 39% would consider quitting if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work. The generational difference is clear: Among millennials and Gen Z, that figure was 49%, according to the poll by Morning Consult on behalf of Bloomberg News,” Bloomberg Wealth reported this week.
In a survey conducted by FlexJobs, more than a third of the 2,100 responders said they save $5,000 or more a year by working from home and not having a commute. 58% of the people responding to FlexJobs said they would look for a new job if their current employer didn’t allow remote work.
And 65% said they want to work from home full-time moving forward. 2% say they want to go back to an office full-time. The biggest concerns about returning to the office?
- Change in daily routine: 27%
- Being away from family or pets: 26%
- Office politics and distractions: 34%
- Childcare or caregiver responsibilities: 15%
- Lack of health and safety measures (i.e., wearing a mask, social distancing): 32%
- Being required to adhere to health and safety measures: 21%
Architectural Digest was all over this trend way back in May 2020 when it posted a report titled ‘These are the 7 requests clients will make post COVID.’ The writing was already on the wall — workers were going to need houses designed with home offices, and in many cases, the houses would need two spaces for husbands and wives to handle their day jobs.
“How the world will change post-COVID-19 remains to be seen. But one thing is for certain: The way we create live-work spaces will be drastically different than the way it was pre-pandemic,” Danine Atlati wrote in the design magazine.
Remember when open floor plans were all the rage on HGTV? Now prepare yourself for married couples to begin eyeballing workspaces. Reimagined layouts was No. 1 on the list of changes you’re going to see in home layouts. “We can expect to see a shift back toward a more traditional floor plan style. Modern open-plan living is popular for many reasons, but during this period, we are realizing it can be a hindrance when our work lives merge into our living spaces,” New York designer Daun Curry told Architectural Digest.
Other changes to design from May 2020 include:
- Clearly defined spaces
- Work surfaces, lighting, acoustics and temperature changes
- Home gyms
- Outdoor living
- Health and wellness zones; turning guest rooms into their own zones with fridges and maybe even small kitchens
So we have people quitting rather than returning to offices and those same people changing the designs of their houses to accommodate these future work-from-home plans. Take my situation. I’ve worked from home the last decade in a space perfectly situated in the great room where I can see activity in the kitchen, the eat-in kitchen area, the back patio, and part of the living room. That was great when it was just me and a dog occupying the space for 9-plus years.
That all changed in March 2020 when my wife’s company began its full-time remote work schedule that remains intact today. We put up a folding table in our eat-in kitchen that holds her computer and another desktop computer for our kids to use/do school work on. We’re separated by about 10 feet. At first, everything was temporary and she made the best of the situation, but eventually, she needed an upgrade to the lighting and heating that never bothered me. Her employer is talking about workers returning to the office one day a week to do meetings, get their office work done, and then it’s remote work for four days a week indefinitely.
That leaves us in a situation: Do we keep rolling along to see if her employer changes its mind and brings everyone back in 2021 (they’ve already implemented a plan to modify the offices and eliminate workspace to save money) or do we begin our own design changes to a traditional house so my wife has a permanent desk setup?
At this point, we’ve had early talks about sacrificing the dining room and turning it into a work/kids learning zone. Like most of you, we use that room for a Thanksgiving dinner, and then the table gets covered in Halloween candy, mail, and art projects.
Are you about to get married? Will your husband/wife also be working at home? You better hope that relationship is rock solid, or you just might beg your employer to bring you back to the office. That’ll be the next trend Bloomberg Wealth is chasing down.