Work-From-Home remains an option for many employed respondents, as 69% are set up to do their normal work from home. Get more survey results here.
This study examines consumer insights and trends in the US regarding work-from-home or remote-work activity. Survey data capture insights starting in mid-2020 and through to the end of 2022, as well as display historical trends in consumer sentiment back to 2016. Survey responses in this study reveal consumer sentiment regarding work in general, as well as how the COVID-19 pandemic shaped and continues to shape working trends, which workers are most likely to be working at home, and future plans about work. Longer term analysis of working locations and attitudes about work are also included. Consumers opinion on the topics above is analyzed by age group, generation, urban/suburban/rural location, full- or part-time employment status, primary work location (home or office), household income, and job function. This report also includes macro-level data (2012-2027) showing the size and growth of the US resident population, civilian labor force, unemployment rates, and employment in various sectors to provide context for the potential population impacted by these trends.
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Working from home became a major trend at onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While some individuals – mostly in the knowledge economy – had already been working from home offices, many more shifted to remote work in March 2020. Some have stayed home since, while others have returned to their offices on a full- or part-time basis. Additionally, the workforce has changed; in some cases, workers moved from jobs that could only be done in person to those that had more remote potential.
Changes in where and how we work affect many facets of the US economy, from obvious sectors like commercial real estate to the ways that commuting (or not) changes where and how workers spend their money. Consequently, an investigation into consumer trends in this area can give insight to marketing and product development opportunities.
This report contains analysis and data-based discussions of work from home trends, including a look at COVID-19 pandemic concerns and wellness impacts, attitudes about work, demographic trends, and other consumer insights.
This report includes analysis, data, trends, and customized cross tabs using two survey resources:
- Data from The Freedonia Group’s proprietary national online surveys conducted from February 2021, June 2021, August 2021, October-November 2021, November-December 2021, February 2022, May 2022, August 2022 and December 2022
- Data from syndicated national consumer survey results from MRI-Simmons’ Fall 2016-2022 Reports
Changes in the population can affect the number of workers available to hire. The fastest growth expected through the forecast period will be among the older age cohorts who are most likely to be either retiring or working only part-time. The decline or small growth in key working age groups will lead to greater competition for companies to attract or retain workers. One effect could be more companies offering remote work as a benefit to attract or retain workers or to be able to cast their hiring net into a wider geography beyond a reasonable commuting distance from their office or work location.
Concerns About of COVID-19 Variants
Concerns about variants of COVID-19 are significant
Concerns about variants of COVID-19 are significant. In The Freedonia Group’s National Online Consumer Survey conducted in October-November 2021, three-fourths of consumers expressed being at least somewhat concerned about Delta and future variants; one-third of respondents agreed strongly with that sentiment. Then in December 2021, the Omicron variant was first discovered in the US and raised new questions about the virus’ continued mutations. Thus, the survey results in November-December 2021 reflected rising fears.
In February 2022, an even larger majority agreed that they were concerned about the health threats of Omicron and future variants. Concerns began to wane in May 2022, though, since caseloads were lower than during earlier parts of the year. The percentage of consumers who strongly agreed that they were concerned about variants was lowest in November 2022 after new vaccines were made available that were designed to target the newer variants. However, concerns rose again in December 2022 along with news about changes in variants and its increasing spread along with holiday gatherings.
Differences Between Full-Time & Part-Time Employees
People who are employed full-time are more likely to report that they can work from home; 70% of full-time workers say they are, at the very least, able to do so when necessary. This share had remained largely unchanged between the start of the pandemic and May 2022, but grew by December 2022.
In contrast, only 62% of part-time workers are able to work from home, up from 56% in May 2022. Still, the share of part-time workers reporting that they are set up to work from home at least sometimes has been increasing since 2020.