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An Insightful Look at the Pandemic’s Impact on Remote Work

How have the past two years changed the work week?


Photo: Shutterstock

The work week in the U.S. has fundamentally changed over the past two years—only one in 15 remote workers expects to be back in an office for five days a week.

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In a recent survey of 2,000 fully remote or hybrid-remote employees, more than a third (35 percent) of respondents said they wouldn’t consider a new job unless it includes the option to work remotely.

More than three-quarters (76 percent) said they’d even apply for a role outside of their current industry if it were completely remote. That may be because 77 percent have found simple pleasures in working from the comfort of their homes. Some of those perks include more frequent coffee or snack breaks (54 percent), more time with family (51 percent), a more casual dress code (50 percent), and more comfortable seating (50 percent).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Rippling, the survey also found a plurality of workers prefer some time in an office—39 percent prefer a hybrid work environment compared to 24 percent who prefer working completely remote.

But while employees in tech or computer science were the most excited for a hybrid role (50 percent), arts and entertainment employees would rather be completely in-office (54 percent).

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Despite the benefits and comforts of remote work that many respondents cited, it does come with challenges. The remote environment has made it more difficult for people to communicate with their co-workers and manager (48 percent), have their work recognized (44 percent), and maintain a work-life balance (44 percent).

These challenges can be particularly acute when workers leave or start new roles remotely. This is important for employers in a tight market to consider, because eight in 10 remote workers believe they can predict whether they’ll like a new job based on the onboarding process. Respondents identified some problems they’ve faced while starting and onboarding with a new job from afar. Seven in 10 find it a hassle to obtain the necessary software and office equipment, and the same number said getting to know their co-workers and manager is made even more difficult. Employees who’ve transitioned to a new team within the same company have also faced difficulties, including staying in touch with their former colleagues and manager (70 percent).

“For the foreseeable future, companies will need to find ways to support a distributed workforce, but it’s still a heavy lift for many organizations. For example, oftentimes companies struggle to onboard a remote employee, whether it’s sending them a computer or enrolling them in the proper benefits,” says Rippling’s VP of Human Resources Christine Maxwell. “This survey makes clear that companies need to adapt and find modern solutions to support their workforce.”

The Great Resignation has brought on great expectations, with seven in 10 employees revealing they expect reimbursement for certain expenses. More than a third expect to be reimbursed for office furniture, and half would expect the company to pay for additional software that facilitates remote working.

“Companies must continue to adjust to this new normal and catch up to the new needs within a business. It’s a struggle for companies to simply collect a laptop when a remote employee departs the company. That didn’t exist when everyone was in the office five days a week,” says Maxwell. “Today businesses can automatically store, ship and retrieve employee computers with a click of a button. There are dozens of different problems that you can easily automate, and taken together, improve the experience for your employees and make a significant impact on the business.”


  • Event planning (52 percent)
  • Health, medical, fitness, and/or wellness (25 percent)
  • Education (25 percent)
  • Construction (23 percent)
  • Human Resources (22 percent)
  • Technology/computer science (15 percent)
  • Financial/insurance (15 percent)
  • Arts and entertainment (13 percent)
About The Author

Julie is the co-founder of Well Defined and a longtime influencer and advocate in the wellness world. Along with her work at Well Defined, she is an executive recruiter and marketing specialist for Hutchinson Consulting. She is also a consultant and content strategist for numerous wellness brands. She is the former editor-in-chief and publisher of American Spa and was named a 2019 Folio Top Woman in Media in the Industry Trailblazers category and a 2018 winner of ISPA’s Innovate Award. She is also a seasoned journalist, specializing in spa, travel, health, fitness, wellness, sustainability, and beauty. She has been published in Departures,, E! Online,, Insider’s Guide to Spas, Luxury Travel Advisor, Marin Magazine, Ocean Home, Smart Meetings, Spa Asia, and Travel Agent.