Pandemic Has Workers Rethinking Office Preferences

COVID-19’s upending of the business world has many rethinking their attitudes toward traditional offices and workplaces. While data from ratings and review firm Clutch finds that most of the U.S. workforce (55 percent) would feel safe returning to their office amid the pandemic, there are splits on preferred timelines.

There are some generational differences in attitudes toward returning to the office. While older generations are more susceptible to COVID-19, employees over 55 would feel safest going back to their office (50 percent), compared to employees ages 35 to 55 (53 percent) and employees under 35 (53 percent). However, Clutch notes, the relative consistency across all age groups suggests that age isn’t the most influential factor for employees returning to work.

While age poses safety concerns, outside factors have more impact on employees’ desire to return to work. Nearly 75 percent of employees rank private offices as the safest possible floor plan, but only one in five have that option. Employees perceive private offices to be significantly safer than mixed spaces (52 percent), cubicles (49 percent) or open floor plans (46 percent).

Companies are updating layouts to prevent the spread of the virus but, Clutch says, some workers find that they prefer their home office over any traditional set up. The company expects that while remote work won’t be everyone’s future, it will be more accepted and accessible for employees after the pandemic ends.

Read the full report here.

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