Recent research suggests that working remotely from the comfort of one’s couch can actually enhance confidence levels, with seven in 10 Americans reporting increased confidence since transitioning to remote work. A survey conducted on 2,000 Americans who worked remotely during the pandemic revealed that 70% found it easier to request additional paid time off, while 67% felt more comfortable asking for flexible working hours and support for mental and physical well-being.
The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Velocity Global, also unveiled that 73% of respondents developed a newfound appreciation for their current job and company.
The comforts and conveniences of working from home have contributed significantly to this boost in confidence. Participants cited benefits such as the ability to communicate through email or instant messaging instead of talking (53%), wearing comfortable clothing (52%), and conducting discreet Google searches (45%) as the top factors enhancing their confidence. Additionally, almost two-thirds of respondents stated that remote work has made them more confident in asking bold questions during job interviews.
Another aspect highly appreciated by remote workers is the time saved by eliminating the daily commute. On average, employees have saved 252 hours over the past two years by not having to travel to work every day. Eight out of 10 respondents noted that this saved time allowed them to accomplish more in a day.
Individuals have utilized this extra time for exercise (43%), completing household chores (41%), and acquiring new skills like video-making (37%). Furthermore, almost half of the respondents reported increased confidence in cooking or baking (48%).
Remote work has also facilitated stronger personal relationships, with 52% of participants stating that it improved their bonds with family and friends. Nearly half (49%) expressed feeling more at ease when meeting new people, and 46% achieved wellness goals such as weight loss or gain. Moreover, over a quarter of respondents successfully fulfilled their New Year’s resolutions.
When reflecting on the greatest goals accomplished while working remotely, respondents mentioned various achievements, including prioritizing mental and physical health, pursuing career-related aspirations, and gaining new skills like becoming one’s own boss or learning about collectibles market investments.
Sarah Fern, Chief People Officer at Velocity Global, acknowledged the transformative impact of remote work, stating, “The pandemic forever changed the world of work and put more power into the hands of talent.” Fern emphasized that increased flexibility in scheduling and location allowed individuals to invest more time in personal and professional endeavors, leading to greater fulfillment and productivity.
Remote work has also raised the bar for employees’ expectations, with two-thirds of respondents claiming they are now less tolerant of unsatisfying jobs compared to two years ago. Respondents expressed decreased willingness to endure toxic work environments characterized by bullying and discrimination (55%), “burnout” culture (47%), low salaries (46%), and limited growth opportunities (42%). Moreover, 65% of respondents reported feeling fulfilled in their careers for the first time.
Fern highlighted the importance of employers responding to employees’ needs, stating, “Talent is clearly putting employers on notice: maximize flexibility for the good of employees and business, or they’ll go find an employer that will.” She expressed optimism that 75% of remote workers now have a newfound appreciation for their current companies, indicating that businesses are responding to these evolving demands.
GREATEST GOALS ACCOMPLISHED WHILE WORKING REMOTELY:
- “Being able to cook all my own meals and save money.”
- “Being able to be a full-time caregiver to my 87-year-old mother.”
- “Being my own boss.”
- “Building a stronger relationship with my kids even though it was all done virtually.”
- “Earning the AWS Solutions Architect Certification.”
- “Getting in shape after being out of shape for eight years and restarting my bachelor’s degree.”
- “Reducing my anxiety.”
- “Learning Spanish.”
- “Starting my ROTH IRA because I saved money from eating out and transportation.”
- “Learning how to invest in the collectibles market.”
The increased personal confidence reported by employees aligns with their overall positive perception of their employers.