As the majority of companies insist workers return to the office, whether or not workers are just as productive at home has been a point of discussion
To find out where workers are currently working from and how those who have returned to office feel their productivity has been affected, in June, ResumeBuilder.com surveyed 1,500 full-time, corporate workers.
- 85% of workers go to the office at least once a week
- 63% say going back to office has improved their productivity; GenZ is more likely than other generations to feel this way
- Top reason for productivity improving is more efficient teamwork
- Only 13% say returning to office has worsened their productivity; 1 in 4 say it’s a result of resenting their employer for forced RTO
- 68% of workers would prefer to work less frequently from the office
85% of workers are in-office weekly
According to our survey, 85% of workers go into the office at least once a week. Nearly half (49%) say they are going into the office more now than during the height of the pandemic. On the other hand, 27% go in less frequently now, while 24% say they are going in no more nor no less than before.
For workers who are not currently working from an office at least once a week, only 16% say they would like to. The plurality (49%) say they would like to do 2 days a week in office, while 20% say just one, and the remaining 31% would like to be in the office 3 or more days a week.
The reasons these workers would prefer to be in office is they believe it would help them develop closer relationships with co-workers (66%), get face-to-face time with decision makers (54%), and improve communication (54%). Furthermore, workers say going to the office would increase motivation (34%), give them more mentorship opportunities (29%), and improve their chances of getting a promotion (14%).
63% say going back to office has improved productivity
Of those who say they are currently going into the office at least once a week and more frequently than during the pandemic, 60% say they are going into the office everyday, while 19% say they go 4 times a week, 16% 3 times a week, 4% 2 times a week, and less than 1% only one day a week.
Of these workers who are now back in the office at least once a week, 63% say they are ‘much more productive’ (39%) or ‘a little bit more productive’ (23%), while 24% say their level of productivity has remained the same.
The top reason they feel they are more productive is due to more effective teamwork (61%) followed by increased motivation (52%) and improved communication (52%)
Additional reasons include fewer distractions (48%) and work-life balance (40%).
GenZ (18-24) was the most likely generation to say they are more productive in-office (79%). For GenZ, being in-office has led to more effective teamwork (56%), improved communication (51%), and increased motivation (49%).
The hybrid setup works best not just for me but for our entire team,” says Marnix Broer, CEO & Co-Founder of Studocu.
“We don’t force anyone to come to the office a set number of weekdays but instead have built a fun, inclusive environment with plenty of in-office perks, like chef-catered lunches and pet-friendly policies. We’re all happier in the office because we’re choosing to be there rather than being forced.
“We decide as teams and individuals which workflows work best for us so that we can handle those heavy collaboration days face-to-face when needed to get through our work quickly. Filling my social “cup” and deepening relationships with the team builds the sort of engagement that makes me far more productive. It doesn’t mean I need to be in the office constantly, but some of my work is done better when I’m there.”
1 in 4 say reduced productivity is due to resenting their employer for making them RTO
Thirteen percent say they are ‘a little bit less’ (11%) or ‘a lot less’ productive (2%) since returning at least once a week to work.
Nearly all workers from this group say they would prefer to work more frequently from home, and 76% would prefer to work fully remotely.
The reasons they feel they are less productive are finding it more difficult to achieve work-life balance (72%), commuting draining their energy (69%), in-office distractions (66%), increased stress (52%), deceased motivation (38%), resenting their employer for making them go to the office (25%), and worsened communication (8%).
6 in 10 workers would prefer to work fewer days from the office despite improved productivity
Despite feeling like they are more productive in the office, 60% of those who cited improved productivity would prefer to work less from the office than they currently are, and 38% would prefer to work fully remotely.
Of those who feel they are less productive, 76% would prefer to work fully remotely.
“It’s important to note that productivity and work preferences can vary among individuals,” says Eric Jones, CEO, Couture Candy.
“Some people thrive in remote work environments, while others may find an office’s structure and social dynamics more conducive to their productivity. It’s about finding the right balance and environment that works best for each individual and their specific job requirements.
“However, there are specific benefits to working from an office. It provides a structured environment, which helps establish a routine and minimize distractions. Office environments also allow for face-to-face collaboration and spontaneous interactions with colleagues, which can enhance teamwork, creativity, and problem-solving. In-person collaboration can sometimes lead to more immediate and efficient decision-making processes.
“Finally, going into an office can create a clear separation between work and personal life. When working remotely, it can be challenging to establish boundaries and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Being physically present in an office can help individuals better compartmentalize their professional and personal responsibilities.”
This survey was commissioned by ResumeBuilder.com and conducted online by the survey platform Pollfish on June 15, 2023. The survey included 1,500 U.S. respondents. All participants had to pass through demographic filters and screening questions to ensure they are currently employed full-time at a corporate job.
The survey used a convenience sampling method, and to avoid bias from this component Pollfish employs Random Device Engagement (RDE) to ensure both random and organic surveying. Learn more about Pollfish’s survey methodology or contact [email protected] for more information.