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Despite Challenges, Most Americans Like Working From Home

By Maurie Backman - May 6, 2020 at 8:36AM

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Many people are working from home involuntarily right now, but a majority are having a decent experience.

Some people are used to working from home and do so as a matter of course. But for the countless Americans who have been told not to come into their offices but rather, to set up shop remotely until the COVID-19 crisis comes to an end, adjusting to that reality has been a struggle.

In spite of that, the majority of Americans actually enjoy working from home, reports YouGov in a recent survey. Specifically, 26% say they like it a lot, while 30% like it somewhat. And 18% are neutral.

Smiling woman types on laptop while young boy sits on couch nearby with tablet


What's to like about working from home?

The top reasons Americans are enjoying their remote setups right now include:

  • Not having to commute (68%)
  • The option to dress more casually (68%)
  • The ability to easily practice social distancing (61%)
  • The option to tackle minor household tasks while working (60%)
  • Flexible hours (53%)
  • Spending more time with family (45%)
  • Increased productivity (22%)
  • Better ability to focus (18%)
  • Fewer distractions (17%)

Of course, not everyone is having the same experience. Some workers are finding that they miss leaving the house, hate feeling isolated, and are struggling to maintain productivity. And it stands to reason that the people who are having an easier time focusing and experiencing fewer distractions aren't stuck working at home with young kids. But seeing as how a lot of people may be stuck working from home for quite a bit of time, it's encouraging to learn that it's been a reasonably positive experience across the board.

How to make working from home easier on yourself

Though 56% of Americans like working from home at least somewhat, 25% are not happy with that arrangement. If you're in the latter camp, there may be a few things you can do to change your outlook.

First, if you're doing OK financially, take the money you'd normally spend commuting and use some of it to make your life easier. Order in a couple of meals each week so you don't have to spend the time cooking, or pay for some online content to keep your kids engaged when you need to be productive.

Next, set a schedule so you know when you're supposed to be working and when you're on parent or household maintenance duty. And, of course, schedule some downtime for yourself, too. The tricky thing about working from home is that you're not packing up and leaving an office, so you may find it difficult to tear yourself away from your desk. But you need to do that for your own sanity.

Finally, be kind to yourself. You may not be your most productive while working from home, but if you try your hardest, your boss is apt to recognize that. There's a good chance a lot of people will continue working from home for months until things get better on the COVID-19 front, so if you pledge to power through and make the best of it, you may find that your outlook takes a turn for the more positive.

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