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Americans Are Willing to Work Longer Hours to Continue Working from Home

While the Right Perks Can Drive Some Employees Back to the Office, Nearly 25% Won’t Go Back Under Any Circumstance

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Now that Americans have had a taste of working from home, many are reluctant to go back to the office full-time, according to a new third-party survey from Prodoscore, the leader in employee visibility and productivity intelligence software. The company today announced the results of its research, which assesses employees’ attitudes and willingness to return to a pre-pandemic workstyle environment.

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While many American business leaders are eager to hit the resume button and have their workplaces go “back to normal,” employees are more reluctant. A majority of Americans (75.6%) have returned or are expecting to return to the office full time, but nearly a third are unhappy about doing so. And, as evidenced by the Great Resignation, they are willing to put their job on the line to avoid the prospect: about a third of Americans (27.1%) reported they left their job or plan to rather than work full time in an office.

“The pandemic caused Americans to re-examine long held beliefs about the way we work,” said David Powell, President of Prodoscore. “We learned, for example, that we don’t have to be on site in a traditional office environment to keep the engine of commerce going. American employees have embraced the flexibility and work-life balance that working remotely delivers, and are looking to hold on to those benefits, even if they return to the office full time.”

Adapting to the Changing Workplace

The pre-pandemic, traditional workplace is no longer the dominant model in the American business environment. More Americans are working for a company that is implementing a hybrid work model (38.3%) than a traditional, full-time model (37.3%). Back in the office, employees are looking to bring elements of work from home with them. More than a third (39.2%) dress more casually in the office.

Employees Are Open to Change in Order to Work From Home

The survey shows that Americans are willing to make changes in exchange for working from home. Nearly 40% said they are comfortable with business leadership having visibility into their workday productivity; more than one-quarter (28.1%) will work longer workday hours; 16.% will take a pay cut; and 13.4% will forfeit company retirement contributions.

Working from Home Fosters a Work-Life Balance

Why the reluctance to go back to the office? Americans don’t want to give up the benefits of having work-life balance and the subsequent improvements in their physical and mental health – 43.6% said their physical health and 36.7% said their mental health have been impacted positively since working from home.

Perks Drive Willingness to Return to the Office

Under what circumstances would Americans return willingly to the office?

A majority of Americans would commit to working 100% in-office if it was a four-day work week, while more than a third would go back if they were given free lunches weekly or commute stipends. Nearly 30% said they would willingly return to the office if they had unlimited PTO. More Americans (19.6%) want a pet-friendly workplace than daycare available in the office or for free (16.3%).

But nearly a quarter of employees said there were no perks that would encourage them to work in the office full time – and there is absolutely nothing they miss about being in an office.

What Do Employees Miss About Office Life?

The lack of social interaction can’t be overlooked when discussing work from home scenarios. The one overriding element that employees miss the most when they’re not in the office full-time is their coworkers (48.2%). Spending time with co-workers is also their favorite part about being in an office. Nothing else comes close – not the snacks (5.4%) or free lunches (3.5%), not being away from the kids (6.2%), not having time to talk on the phone or listen to podcasts during the commute (2.8%).

“A distributed workforce, enabled by technology and productivity tools, is not the future – it is what is happening now,” said Powell. “As business leaders we need to get on board with this, to ensure that we are using the available tools to provide the flexibility our employees require and to facilitate – and then trust in – their ability to deliver at the highest performance levels, no matter where they are physically based. To attract and retain the best talent, this needs to be our charge.”

Methodology

In September, Prodoscore and Propeller Insights polled more than 1,000 U.S. adults working full time across demographics about their attitudes and willingness to return to the office full time, following the pandemic lockdown.

About Prodoscore

Prodoscore™ is a company dedicated to empowering teams to be more effective and productive, validated with improved performance and enhanced contributions. By providing visibility into employee activities through a single, easy-to-understand productivity score, a “prodoscore” is calculated to improve workforce productivity and streamline the employee experience. Prodoscore works seamlessly with cloud tools like Google Workspace, Office365, CRM systems, and VoIP calling platforms, allowing it to be quickly implemented and maintained. Learn more at prodoscore.com.

Contacts

Nadine M. Sarraf | CMO, Prodoscore | 213.262.2551 | nadine@prodoscore.com
Alessandra Nagy| VP, Bospar PR | 714.310.4439 | alessandra@bospar.com

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Employer Support Has a Direct Impact on the Health and Resilience of Employees, According to a Mercer Survey

  • The pandemic has had a material impact on the mental, financial and physical health of employees.

    • Over half of US employees report feeling some level of stress in the last year, nearly one fourth say they experienced mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, a fifth are financially worse off, and nearly a fifth feel less physically healthy or fit.
  • However, 53% of employees feel their employer has provided good support during the pandemic – and, compared to those who have received little support, they are less likely to have experienced the pandemic’s impact as mostly or entirely negative.
  • 45% of employees who feel they have received good support from their employers during the pandemic say they are less likely to leave their company as a result.

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As the pandemic continues to unfold, the ability of employers to have a positive impact on employee health and resiliency cannot be understated and is one of the most important findings of the latest Mercer “Health on Demand” survey released today. Since the onset of COVID-19, when employers stepped up to provide essential support, it made a difference. Employees who say they received good support from their employers are much less likely to view their personal experience of the pandemic as mostly or entirely negative compared to those who received little or no support – 25% vs. 49%. And almost half (45%) of those receiving good support say they are less likely to leave their job as a result.

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Survey results confirm that the pandemic has had a material impact on the mental, physical and financial health of employees. Over half of US employees feel some level of stress in the last year; nearly a fourth of US employees say they experienced mental health issues such as depression or anxiety; a fifth are financially worse off; and nearly a fifth feel less physically healthy or fit. Low-wage earners were more likely to experience each of these negative impacts – and less likely to feel supported by their employers during the pandemic. These findings reinforce that employers have room for improvement when it comes to understanding the diverse needs of their employees and providing resources to support the well-being of the entire workforce.

“There is nothing more important to the health of a business than the health of its people and the communities in which that business operates. COVID-19 challenged our global healthcare system, but the ability of employers to have a positive impact on employee health and resiliency is one of the most important findings from our 2021 Health on Demand survey,” said Martine Ferland, President and CEO, Mercer. “The research is clear – employers that place health and humanity at the center of business transformation will build a more energized and adaptable workforce that is better able to persevere through periods of crisis.”

The 2021 report lays out several key findings and implications for supporting employee health and well-being:

Provide varied and valued benefits: Well-being is at the core of an employee’s relationship with their employer. The amount of support, type of support, and ability to personalize that support matters. The ability to customize a package of benefits to meet individual needs is highly or extremely valued by 55% of employees. Variety matters as well: the more benefits and resources that are offered, the more likely it is that each employee finds something of value. Of employees offered 10 or more health and well-being benefits or resources by their employer, 52% say that their benefits are a reason to stay with their company, compared to only 32% of those offered 1-5 benefits or resources. In addition, employees receiving 10 or more benefits are more confident that they can afford the healthcare they need – and more likely to agree that their employer cares about their health and well-being.

Enable digital access to healthcare: COVID-19 necessitated that healthcare be delivered in different and innovative ways. One-fifth of employees used telemedicine for the first time during the pandemic, and another 23% increased their usage. Of those trying telemedicine for the first time, the great majority – 72% – intend to keep using it. The survey also registered a sharp increase in employee interest in other digital health solutions, ranging from apps that help find healthcare providers to virtual reality tools for self-care. Compared to the 2019 Health on Demand survey, a greater percentage of employees in the 2021 survey found digital solutions to be highly or extremely valuable. The ability to access care virtually has gained momentum and become a valued option for employees. Survey results reinforce that employers need to plan for a future in which most healthcare journeys include virtual visits and digital healthcare supports.

Reduce stress and anxiety: Notably, US employees are more stressed than those in many other countries. While 59% of US employees say they feel some level of stress, one-quarter report being highly or extremely stressed. That’s the highest percentage of the 13 countries included in the survey. In the UK, for example, only 16% of employees feel highly or extremely stressed. With 48% of US employees rating employer support for mental health as highly or extremely valuable, employers that provide robust mental health and counselling benefits will foster greater loyalty and create a stronger bond with their employees. However, 40% of employees say it is difficult to find and access quality mental health care. It’s even harder for some employees: among low wage earners, that number rises to 47%. Employees identifying as LGBTQ+ place the highest value on employer support for mental health – 61% say it is highly or extremely valuable, but nearly as many (58%) say quality mental health care is difficult to find and access.

Clearly, employees have unmet needs when it comes to mental health care. Half (49%) of all US employees say that programs that reduce the cost of mental health treatment are highly or extremely valuable. Employers looking to provide affordable mental health care support should note that many employees would highly value virtual counselling via video chat with a therapist (42%), virtual counselling via text with a therapist (38%), and even virtual mental health advice via AI-powered text chats, with no human involved (31%).

Tackle healthcare inequities: Healthcare inequality persists, with higher-earners better able to access medical coverage, income protection and mental health counselling than low-earners. Participants with household income (HHI) at or below the US median are significantly less likely to feel confident they can afford the healthcare their family needs (60%) than those with HHI above the median (83%).

Unfortunately, the people who need support the most are the least likely to receive it. Those with HHI above the median reported having better access to benefits through their employers: the survey revealed a gap of 21 percentage points in access to employer-sponsored medical coverage between those with HHI at or below the median and those with HHI above the median and a 19-point gap in access to life insurance. Employers should consider a strategy that targets benefits to the groups that need them most. In a time of labor shortages, a strategy for achieving greater equity may also give employers a competitive advantage.

“Every good leader knows that when employees feel they are treated well they are more likely to stay, be engaged, and flourish,” said Kate Brown, Mercer’s Center for Health Innovation Leader, “With significant shifts in attitudes towards mental health, sustainability and digital healthcare over the last year, employers must evolve their health strategy to reflect a modern workforce that prioritizes flexibility, choice, a caring culture, and digital access to support their health and well-being.”

About the survey

The 2021 Mercer Health on Demand survey asked 14,000 employees across 13 countries across the globe about what they want when it comes to their health and well-being. Country and regional results were weighted to the true sample, with 2,000 in the US. The resulting report captures the voice of the employee to inform debate about employee health and wellbeing preferences, digital delivery of benefits, inclusive and environmentally-friendly solutions that meet ESG agendas and mental health solutions.

About Mercer

Mercer believes in building brighter futures by redefining the world of work, reshaping retirement and investment outcomes, and unlocking real health and well-being. Mercer’s approximately 25,000 employees are based in 43 countries and the firm operates in 130 countries. Mercer is a business of Marsh McLennan (NYSE: MMC), the world’s leading professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people, with 78,000 colleagues and annual revenue of over $18 billion. Through its market-leading businesses including Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman, Marsh McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit mercer.com. Follow Mercer on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Contacts

Micaela McPadden
201-694-9719

Micaela.mcpadden@mercer.com

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GoodHire Survey Finds Americans Are Willing to Take Pay Cuts or Forgo Benefits to Work From Home

GoodHire, a leading background check platform, urges employers to get smart—remote work is the “new normal,” and employers need to understand how employee sentiment impacts hiring and building a trusted workforce.

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SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#backgroundscreeningGoodHire, a leading provider of employment and background screening services, today released its inaugural report, “The State of Remote Work in 2021: A Survey of the American Workforce.” The report is based on an online survey of 3,500 Americans, ages 21-59 years, who shared their opinions about jobs, money and life in the era of remote work and COVID-19.

New or not, remote work is wildly popular in 2021. 68% of respondents said they preferred working from home to in-office work. So much so that 45% of Americans would either quit their job or immediately start a remote work job search if they were forced to return to their office full-time. Almost one-quarter of the respondents said, specifically, they would quit if a return-to-office mandate was instituted.

Some of the respondents even said they would be willing to take a pay cut of up to 50% to continue working from home. And, 70% of American workers would forfeit benefits to maintain remote working status, most commonly: health insurance, paid time off, retirement accounts, and more.

“Many Americans have acclimatized to working from home and do not want to see a return to ‘normal,’” GoodHire’s Chief Operating Officer Max Wesman said. “Permanent remote working is the ‘new normal’ for many professionals and a large proportion of companies have come to accept this fact as their new status quo,” he said. “Our survey clearly shows that those employers resistant to this change will risk losing employees and applicants to more adaptable companies.”

According to Wesman, the floodgates have opened and there’s no turning back.

“The office is no longer the primary location of choice for employee collaboration and productivity,” he continued. “In fact, our survey showed that people are bypassing job ads altogether that don’t mention a remote work option.”

The survey found that 85% of Americans prefer to apply for jobs that offer remote flexibility, while just 15% would apply for a position that requires total full-time office work. Further, 74% of respondents would need some sort of remote working arrangement to stay at their current job.

Wesman cautioned the prevalence of remote work brings along with it a new set of legal and practical challenges for employers and recommended companies update their hiring policies. “Since a new employee might be working remotely from a different state, a company wishing to conduct a background check will have to familiarize itself with applicable screening laws for the different states, counties, and cities they’re hiring in,” he said.

As employers navigate the new world of remote work, they can turn to a trusted background check partner that makes it easy to screen candidates remotely with a 100% paperless workflow. GoodHire’s background check platform features a mobile-optimized candidate experience with e-consent, as well as localized built-in compliance tools that help employers maintain compliance with various local screening laws and regulations.

For press kit/graphics of the survey, please visit: https://bit.ly/ghsurveygraphics2021

About GoodHire

Since 2013, GoodHire has been a trusted background check partner to more than 100,000 organizations. With its innovative, technology-first approach, coupled with an intense focus on customer delight, GoodHire has redefined the background check service industry. GoodHire uses automation and advanced data engineering to help customers accelerate hiring and make more confident hiring decisions. Thanks to its easy-to-use platform and responsive, FCRA-trained support team, our customer satisfaction and NPS scores match those of America’s most trusted brands. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, GoodHire is owned and operated by Inflection. To learn more, visit www.goodhire.com.

Contacts

Media Contact
Caroline James

caroline.james@aircoverpr.com