While a majority (82 percent) of U.S. workers say the ability to work from anywhere at any time allows them to maintain a healthy work-life balance, more than half (62 percent) still prefer to work in the office, according to the survey.
And contrary to popular myth, younger workers are even more enthusiastic about being in the workplace. Sixty-five percent of those aged 18-24 say they prefer working in a traditional office environment, challenging the widespread perception that millennial and Gen Z workers tend to prefer digital interactions over personal ones.
But when people do want to work at home, many say their employers don’t feel the same way. Indeed, 66 percent of survey respondents say they like the option of occasionally working from home or another location, but aren’t able to do so, and a third (35 percent) don’t receive the necessary technical equipment from their employer to enable them to work from home.
Employers would actually benefit if more allowed telecommuting, according to the survey. Eighty percent of workers say they like “agile work” — the ability to work from anywhere, anytime — because it increases their productivity, creativity and job satisfaction. Moreover, 61 percent don’t believe this type of work interferes with their personal lives, or their ability to disconnect from work.
“The takeaway for employers: workers appreciate having the option to work when and where they want, but also value interacting with colleagues face-to-face in the workplace,” says Jim Link, CHRO, Randstad North America. “Employers who strike the right balance — making flexible work arrangements as accessible as possible through technology while also cultivating a thriving office culture — will succeed in attracting and retaining top talent.”