Over 80% of workers don't want to go back to the office full time, survey finds

Parents with kids at home are more likely to want to return to office life, a study by Harvard Business School finds.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert
Harvard work from home
Harvard Business School

A survey by Harvard Business School has found 81% of people who have been working from home through the COVID-19 pandemic either don't want to go back or prefer a hybrid schedule. Of the 1,500 remote workers surveyed for the study, 27% hope to continue working remotely full time indefinitely, while 61% would prefer to mix working from home with going into the office two or three days a week. 

Just 18% of those surveyed said they want to go back to the office full time -- and parents with kids at home were more likely to want to go back. Married people also wanted to go back to the office more so than singles, according to the study's findings.

Read more: COVID-19 vaccine passports: How they could clear travel for takeoff

"As we're preparing to get back to business as usual, it seems professionals don't want 'business as usual,'"  Patrick Mullane, Harvard Business School online executive director, said in a statement. "They want flexibility from their employers to allow them to maintain the new work/home balance and productivity they have come to enjoy."

Before going back to the office, 51% of respondents said they want to be fully vaccinated, while 71% would prefer to wait until everyone is fully vaccinated. More than half of those surveyed also still expect people to be seated at least six feet apart from each other inside the office, along with required use of masks.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.