Majority of workers say working from home has improved their finances
Among the 38% of Americans who have worked from home at some point since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020, 57% said that working from home had a positive effect on their personal finances, according to a new study from Bankrate.com.
Younger generations were more likely to report a positive impact with 60% of Millennials (25-40 years old) and Gen Z (18-24 years old) working from home reporting it, compared to 54% of Generation X (41- 56 years old) and 47% of baby boomers (57-75 years old). Only 10% reported a negative financial impact from working from home.
About a third of American adults (32%) started working from home during the pandemic, including 54% of millennials, 39% of Gen Zers, 31% of Gen Xers and 13% of baby boomers. Over a quarter (27%) of them have since returned to their office or other place of business full time. 28% more did so part-time. Among those who started working from home during COVID, the full or partial return to the office was led mainly by Gen Z (71%), compared to 55% of baby boomers, 54% of millennials and 50% of Gen X Just under half (45%) who started working from home during the pandemic are still working from home full time. Another 6% of all American adults worked from home before the pandemic and have continued to do so.
Interestingly, the switch to work from home brought on by Covid was more of a high income phenomenon (54% with annual household incomes above $ 80,000, 28% between $ 40,000 and $ 80,000 and 21% below 40 $ 000).
“The finances of many Americans improved during the pandemic, especially those with higher incomes who were able to work from home. Between the drop in spending and three rounds of stimulus payments, many households have made considerable progress in increasing their savings and paying off their debts. For those who are in a position to do so, working from home could provide additional tailwind to move forward. Yet the biggest benefits seem to be less tangible than the money, ”said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate.com.
When they think of returning to the office, 89% of people who have worked from home at some point in the pandemic foresee at least one positive effect if they were to work from home on a permanent basis.
- The most common positive aspects are having more freedom (50%), more time spent with family (48%) and more sleep (40%).
- More freedom resonates more with Baby Boomers (58%) and Gen X (57%) than Millennials (47%) and Gen Z (40%).
- Members of Generation X are much more influenced than other generations by sleeping more (53%, compared to 40% for baby boomers and 35% for each millennium and Generation Z) and more time with family (57%, against 49% for baby boomers and 44% for each millennium). and Gen Z) through telecommuting; they’re also much more likely to stay with a business that allows them to work from home all the time (39% vs. 26% millennials, 25% baby boomers, 17% millennials).
- Women were significantly more likely than men to cite more freedom (56% vs. 46%) and more sleep (46% vs. 36%) as positive.
- Almost 8 in 10 (79%) of those who have worked from home at some point during the pandemic identified at least one negative effect of working from home on a permanent basis.
The most common drawbacks are fewer opportunities to network and interact with co-workers (44%), lower productivity due to too many distractions (25%), and limited opportunities for promotions and salary increases ( 23%).
Older workers are much more likely to miss networking / interacting with co-workers (54% of baby boomers who worked from home during COVID cited this as negative, vs. 47% of Gen Xs, 42% of millennials and 34% of Gen Z). Women were much more likely than men to cite a lack of networking / interaction with their colleagues (49% vs. 40%).
Travel between home and work is often cited as one of the main problems encountered by workers. This is perhaps the reason why 77% of workers would give up at least one guilty pleasure for a year to avoid their commute to work. The most cited guilty pleasures are alcohol (35%), junk food (32%) and social media (29%).