Why Americans are choosing remote work over going into the office

The workweek in the United States has fundamentally changed — only 1 in 15 remote workers expects to be back in an office for five days a week.

In a recent survey of 2,000 fully remote or hybrid-remote employees, more than a third (35%) of respondents said they wouldn’t consider a new job unless it includes the option to work remotely.

More than three-quarters (76%) said they’d even apply to a role outside of their current industry if it were completely remote.

That may be because 77% have found simple pleasures in working from the comfort of their home.

That includes more frequent coffee or snack breaks (54%), more time with family (51%), a more casual dress code (50%) and more comfortable seating (50%).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Rippling, the survey also found a plurality of workers prefer some time in an office — 39% prefer a hybrid work environment, compared to 24% who prefer working completely remote.

But while employees in tech or computer science were the most excited for a hybrid role (50%), arts and entertainment employees would rather be completely in-office (54%).

Despite the benefits and comforts of remote work that many respondents cited, it does come with challenges. The remote environment has made it more challenging for people to communicate with their co-workers and manager (48%), have their work recognized (44%) and maintain a work-life balance (44%).

These challenges can be particularly acute when workers leave or start new roles remotely. This is important for employers in a tight market to consider, because eight in 10 remote workers believe they can predict whether they’ll like a new job based on the onboarding process.

Respondents identified some problems they’ve faced while starting and onboarding with a new job from afar.

Seven in 10 find it a hassle to obtain the necessary software and office equipment, and the same amount said getting to know their co-workers and manager is made all the more difficult.

Employees who’ve transitioned to a new team within the same company have also faced difficulties, including staying in touch with their former colleagues and manager (70%).

"For the foreseeable future, companies will need to find ways to support a distributed workforce, but it's still a heavy lift for many organizations. For example, oftentimes companies struggle to onboard a remote employee, whether it's sending them a computer or enrolling them in the proper benefits," said Rippling's VP of Human Resources Christine Maxwell. "This survey makes clear that companies need to adapt and find modern solutions to support their workforce."

The Great Resignation has brought on great expectations, with seven in 10 employees revealing they expect reimbursement for certain expenses.

More than a third expect to be reimbursed for office furniture, and half would expect the company to pay for additional software that facilitates remote working.

"Companies must continue to adjust to this new normal and catch up to the new needs within a business. It's a struggle for companies to simply collect a laptop when a remote employee departs the company. That didn't exist when everyone was in the office five days a week,” said Rippling’s VP of Human Resources Christine Maxwell. "Today businesses can automatically store, ship and retrieve employee computers with a click of a button. There are dozens of different problems that you can easily automate, and taken together, improve the experience for your employees and make a significant impact on the business."