A new survey from Gallop showed a large majority of Americans who typically work in an office or at a computer are still working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic

By Jason Duaine Hahn
May 20, 2021 05:09 PM
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The majority of Americans who typically work in an office or at a computer are still working from home, a new survey released this week revealed.

The poll, published by Gallup on Monday, showed 72 percent of white-collar workers are continuing to work from home as COVID-19 cases plummet around the U.S. The news comes after the Centers for Disease Control announced last week that Americans who are fully vaccinated no longer have to wear masks indoors in most places.

According to Gallop, only 14 percent of blue-collar workers, which the organization defines as those with jobs primarily requiring manual work or physical labor, are working from home. This is in contrast to employees in the computer, media, finance and insurance industries, who see at least 80 percent of workers clocking in remotely.

"Occupations consisting mainly of people who perform their jobs behind desks have experienced the remote-work revolution most intensely in the past year," Gallop said in the study. "More than seven in 10 workers in such 'white collar' jobs have been working from home all or part of the time, in contrast with fewer than two in 10 blue-collar workers."

Despite so many workers remaining home, the survey found only 35 percent of employees would choose to continue working from home if they are allowed to by their employer.

Another 17 percent said they would choose to stop working from home. This includes 33 percent of people in the education, training and library industries.

"Workers in education also report high remote-work rates, averaging 69 percent since October, but just 19 percent — far less than white-collar workers — would prefer to maintain this going forward."

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Gallop said the new CDC guidelines offer support to employers who decide to bring workers back to schools, offices or other workplaces.

"Of course, employers will have a say in how much remote work happens post-pandemic, with some companies already announcing that working from home will no longer be an option, once the health risks of returning to work are minimized," they said. "Other firms are offering hybrid solutions that will allow employees to work remotely part of the time but require some days spent in the office."

"As leaders make important decisions about what happens next, the data suggest that hybrid approaches will be the much safer bet for companies hoping to retain and attract employees in fields where 70 percent or more of their workers have grown accustomed to working from home," the organization added, "and where a third or more are reluctant to give that up."