Since 2020, the workplace has permanently changed, with remote opportunities opening up several new ways to do your job. Many employees who previously worked in-person now are hybrid or fully remote, creating a public perception that employees now prefer the convenience and flexibility of remote work over social interaction in the office.

In April, surveyed 1,250 full-time employees to understand their true preferences for in-person, hybrid, or fully remote work.

Key findings:

  • 7 in 10 employees don’t want to be fully remote; 40% want to be fully in-person, and 32% prefer hybrid work
  • Of those who want hybrid work, plurality want 3 days in-office
  • Communication, collaboration are top reasons why employees want in-person work

7 in 10 Workers Don’t Want To Be Fully Remote

Despite the remote work trend, employees continue to value in-person interaction in the workplace.

Of those surveyed, 40% report that they prefer fully in-person work, 32% would rather be hybrid, and 28% prefer fully remote options.

“With the tug-and-pull surrounding remote and hybrid work, the voices of those advocating for full-time in-office work have not always received equal attention,” says Resume Builder’s Chief Career Advisor Stacie Haller.

“While the desire for some in-office presence remains prevalent, the extent of this preference remains subject to flux. It’s clear that a one-size-fits-all approach is no longer tenable in today’s diverse workforce landscape. Yet, the specific configuration of in-office versus remote work versus hybrid continues to be a matter of ongoing negotiation and adaptation.”

Of those who prefer the hybrid model, 13% would like to work four days in-person, 41% say three days per week is ideal, and 27% prefer two days in person. Additionally, 10% would like to work one day per week in office, while 9% prefer one to three days per month.

Remote workers were most likely to be happy with their current work modality.

Among remote employees, 87% prefer work from home, while 9% would rather be in a hybrid environment, and 4% prefer in-person options.

Additionally, of hybrid employees, 68% prefer hybrid work, while 27% would like to work remotely, and 5% would rather be in-person. Finally, of fully in-person employees, 58% prefer in-person work, while 24% would rather work in a hybrid model, and 18% would prefer remote work.

“I remain convinced that a hybrid model, which integrates remote and in-office components, will ultimately emerge as the predominant choice for the majority,” says Haller. “This approach accommodates the diverse needs and preferences of both employees and employers, fostering a more flexible and resilient work environment capable of meeting the challenges of the modern era and the need for more workers to achieve a work-life balance.”

Communication, collaboration are top reasons why employees want in-person work

Workers who prefer to be in person, at least part of the time, explain the top reasons for their preference: social interaction (58%), faster communication (47%), easier collaboration (47%), and separation of career and home life (46%).

Those who prefer working remotely, at least some of the time, cite flexibility (70%), improved work-life balance (67%), and lack of commute (65%) as their main reasons.

“Our survey illustrates that a significant majority of workers value the opportunity for in-person social interaction and collaboration with colleagues, but to varying degrees,” explains Haller. “However, it’s essential to acknowledge the existence of a cohort that thrives in a fully remote work environment, finding solace in the absence of distractions and a greater sense of work-life balance.”

“For many, the appeal of on-site work lies in the ease of communication, camaraderie, and collaborative opportunities that are inherently more tangible in a face-to-face setting. Conversely, those who favor remote work often prioritize the autonomy and flexibility it affords, allowing them to maintain focus and achieve a harmonious integration of work and personal life.”

Workers Are Taking Action To Obtain Preferred Working Environment

Many report they would like to work more or less frequently from the office than they currently do.

Of this group, 53% have taken steps to achieve this desired work model, while 47% have not. Action steps include proposing a new schedule to management (64%), looking for a new job (49%), signing a petition (7%), and threatening to quit (4%).

“Increasingly, organizations recognize that today’s workforce values the flexibility to choose their preferred work arrangements, whether remote, on-site, or hybrid. Employees who find themselves in environments that do not align with their preferences should feel empowered to advocate for arrangements that better suit their needs. Our survey findings indicate that many employees have successfully negotiated such adjustments,” explains Haller.

“The evolving landscape of work models offers many options for both employers and employees to find arrangements that best suit their respective needs. In today’s dynamic work environment, flexibility and openness to dialogue can pave the way for mutually beneficial outcomes that enhance productivity, satisfaction, and overall well-being.”

Among workers who are content with their work modality, 43% purposefully sought out a job with this model, 27% got lucky, 20% negotiated with management, and 10% refused to work any other way.


This survey was commissioned by and conducted online by the survey platform Pollfish. It was launched on April 10, 2024. Overall, 1,250 full-time workers completed the survey.

To qualify for the survey, all participants had to be over 18 and currently employed full-time.

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