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The World Economic Forum Surveys Return to Work

July 30, 2021

The World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland has surveyed 12,500 workers in 29 countries on their opinions about work after COVID-19. The survey is at

According to the survey, two thirds of people worldwide want flexible work. 30% would consider looking for another job rather than return to the office full time.

People have coped with working from home better than expected. Just over half missed their co-workers. 64% were more productive with a flexible schedule. Only one out of three complained of burn out or felt disengaged.

66% said employers should allow more flexible work; the percentage was slightly higher among parents with young children.

Globally, about one quarter of employees (34% in the United States) want to return to the office full time. Worldwide, the average number of days people want to work from home is 21/2.

Before the pandemic 53% of workers were in office most or all of the time; only 24% mostly worked from home. Now only 39% mostly work in an office, 61% outside.

About half of workers think there will be a return to the office within a year. Even if this happens, many employees will push back even if it means changing jobs. For those employers who accept work from home at least part time as the "new normal"  adaptation should include increased attention to ergonomics and cyber security.