The pros and cons of working from home during a pandemic | The Numbers Racket

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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things, including the way in which we go to school, talking to our friends, and go to work. 

In a December poll conducted by Pew Research Center, about half of U.S. workers surveyed said they have more flexibility now than they did prior to the pandemic. 

With large swaths of the population working from home some or all of the time during the coronavirus outbreak, here’s what they had to say about the change: 

Fifty-four percent of workers said they would want to work from home after the coronavirus outbreak ends, according to the survey. 

Another 71 percent said they are currently working from home, compared with 20 percent who worked from home prior to the pandemic. 

Overall, about four in ten workers say their jobs can mostly be done from home, according to Pew Research Center data.

Safety at the workplace

76 … the percentage of lower income employed adults who say that the responsibilities  of their job cannot be done from home. 

Lower income adults were also more likely to have concerns about COVID-19 safety measures in the workplace. 

Thirty-five  percent of lower income adults report being very satisfied with protective measures taken at the workplace compared to 39 percent of middle income adults and 47 percent of upper income adults. 

Reasons to work from home

Among the reasons listed by employed U.S. adults for working from all or most of the time, despite having an open work place, 60 percent cited preference as their major reason behind the decision. 

Another 57 percent cited concerns about exposure to the coronavirus as the major reason for their decision to work from home. 

For another 45 percent of working adults, childcare responsibilities were the major factor behind their decision to work remotely. 

Challenges

With the addition of childcare responsibilities during the pandemic, half of parents working from home said it’s been difficult for them to work without interruptions. 

Broken down by gender, 48 percent of men and 52 percent of women with a child under 18 said it has been very or somewhat difficult for them to get their work done without interruptions. 

While 43 percent of respondents said telecommuting has been very easy and another 37 percent adding that it has been somewhat easy, a third of respondents currently working from home said they found it somewhat or very difficult (32 percent). 

Additionally, 36 percent of respondents said they’ve had difficulty staying motivated during the pandemic to do their work. 

Cassie Miller
A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.