Most people are willing to take pay cuts and lose benefits in order to continue working from home.

Why is it important: One of the effects of the pandemic is that many people are now working from home or using a hybrid home-office system. According to the latest in a long line of polls showing the same result, the vast majority of employees want it to stay that way and be willing to give up pay and benefits in exchange for it.

The Future of Working in Financial Services: Remotely or in the Office?‘ is the result of a collaboration between market researcher Atomik Research and enterprise video platform manufacturer Vidyard. It uses data collected from 503 financial services professionals working in sales, marketing, HR and customer service, with a focus on their opinions about working from home.

The survey shows that 96% of people would be willing to give up a percentage of their salary to work from home permanently. And not just a small amount: 30% would give up half or more, while 2 out of 5 would take 25% to 50% less pay to continue working from home indefinitely.

Illustrating how desperately some people want to stay away from the office, 97% of respondents said they were willing to give up one or more benefits in order to work from home permanently. Of this group, 38% said they would sacrifice their health insurance, another 38% said they would give up all their paid holidays, and 10% were willing to forfeit both privileges in exchange for a full-time WFH or hybrid job.

Why are so many employees reluctant to return to the office? The most common reason in this survey (40%) is the fear that their productivity will decline. This is followed by fears that their dog will miss them—a more compelling reason, according to this author—followed by fears of a sharp drop in job satisfaction (33%) and increased stress (30%).

While many executives say that working in the office is essential to get the most out of their employees, 88% of financial services professionals said they have had more success working from home, and 82% believe productivity in their organization has increased from since the WFH schemes started operating at the start of the pandemic. Nearly half say limited distractions and a lack of office politics have helped them get more work done in a shorter amount of time.

But there are also downsides to working from home compared to the office. The majority (86%) of respondents believe that employees who choose to work in the office receive more privileges than remote employees, who often feel ignored and unrecognized. There were also complaints about receiving fewer reviews and missing out on business opportunities.

Several tech giants urged employees to work from home at the start of the Covid outbreak, and most employees don’t want to return, but many executives feel they should – Microsoft even published a study claiming that WFH threatens productivity and innovation. With the advent of the Omicron Covid variant, however, companies are postponing return-to-office dates.

Head credit: remote work by Creative Lab

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