As the world slowly begins to reopen after the worldwide pandemic, many work-from-home employees are now getting the option to return to the office, remain at home, or figure out a hybrid of the two. Employees will soon have to decide which workplace situation they prefer, leading many to turn to their employers to see what benefits and job perks they’re offering to sweeten the pot.
A new Joblist report surveyed over 1,000 remote employees across the United States about the top perks they want to make working from home a little better, along with how working from home has impacted their life outside of their job.
A whopping 80% of respondents say they want a four-day workweek or more flexible hours (44.3%) if they remain working from home. One of employees’ most desired work perks is for employers to pay for their internet (58%).
The Joblist report explains a number of “households reported having unreliable Wi-Fi and could not afford to upgrade it. If companies were to cover the cost of reliable internet at home for their workers, it could make a tremendous impact on many employees’ lives.”
Other top job perks work-from-home employees are looking for include allowance for office furniture (34.7%); a wellness allowance (31%); days without Zoom meetings (21.2%); regular virtual team bonding (17.8%); a company trip (14.5%); tuition reimbursement (13.1%); and an allowance for child care (10.4%).
When it came to life happiness, nearly half of the respondents reported a drop in their overall life satisfaction. Over 41% say they’ve seen a decline, while just 35% say they’ve seen an increase in life satisfaction, and nearly 23% say they haven’t noticed a change.
The Joblist report breaks down the most common positive and negative changes among those surveyed. The number one positive impact was respondents saying they’ve spent more time with their children (49.4%), followed by watching more movies and TV shows (44.6%). When it comes to negative changes, over 21% say they feel more lonely, they’ve gained weight, and have spent less time with their family. A notable change has 44.2% of people saying they’ve spent less time preparing for the workday.
The report also breaks down the number of distractions impacting employee productivity. Watching TV is noted as the number one distraction (16.6%), while cooking (14.5%) and running errands (14.3%) are a close second and third, respectively.
Respondents say working remotely has made it more challenging to separate work life from non-work life. Cleaning (12.3%), doing laundry (13.9%), and child care (12.7%) are also significant distractions for employees during the workday. For those with perhaps less domestic obligations, video games are listed as another top distraction – more than 1 in 10 millennials admit to taking part in this pastime while on the clock.
While many employees are getting more distracted and have less time to prepare for the day, they are also working overtime to get things done. Regular morning routines are no longer part of the daily work grind for many, which the Joblist report relays can directly impact a worker’s day.
Over 41% of the respondents wake up later than they did when they were going into the office, while more than 3 in 10 (30.6%) wake up earlier. No matter when they wake up, 49.8% say they have an excessive workload, and another 38.2% say they feel pressured to work past regular office hours.
In fact, a strong majority (59%) of respondents say they’ve regularly worked past normal office hours since they began working from home. Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority of managers (70.9%) regularly worked past normal office hours since going remote.
Working from home is different for every person. With so many options available for a flexible working schedule, going back to a 9-to-5 office job seems unlikely for many American workers.