Most Americans approve of letting people work from home. But like many things in the United States, this perception depends on individual politics.
While Republicans are generally positive about remote working, they were less likely to approve of it than Democrats (81% vs. 89%), according to a new poll from Vox and Data for Progress.
Additionally, Republicans were less likely to say teleworkers worked as hard or harder than non-teleworkers (50% vs. 75%).
Republicans were also less likely than Democrats to say remote workers were as or more productive than non-remote workers (57 percent vs. 71 percent).
The survey of more than 1,000 people was conducted online earlier this month and is weighted to be representative of the American adult population.
Despite the difference between Republicans and Democrats, the overall high approval rating is a good sign for those who want to continue working from home after the pandemic. Positive perceptions of remote work could help ensure its continuity, especially as workers and their employers disagree about the future of remote working.
More than half of Americans were working from home earlier in the pandemic. And it went surprisingly well, with workers, their managers, and objective studies showing that employees were maintaining or increasing their levels of productivity.
So it makes sense that during the pandemic, the desire of employees to continue working from home has increased, as has the willingness of employers to let them do it. But there’s still a gap between what employees want and what employers say they’re going to do, according to data from a study written in part by Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom. Employees would like to work from home about half the time, while employers plan to let them do so about one day a week.
As the more acute effects of the pandemic abate and the number of people working remotely declines, numerous employer surveys – along with a dramatic increase in the number of remote job vacancies – suggest that many Americans will continue to work from home at least part of the time even when the pandemic ends. What is less clear is how often it will be.
As for the difference between Republicans and Democrats, it is possible that the survey responses reflect the political makeup of remote workers. The survey sample size was not large enough to accurately examine the political parties of those working remotely. However, responses were equally positive among people who worked and did not work remotely. This ties in with data from the Boston Consulting Group that the majority of people, whether or not it is possible in their industry, wanted to work remotely.
But we also know that states with voters leaning toward Republicans had a lower homework rate during the pandemic (30%) than Democratic states (35%), according to the Bloom study, which measured the overall rate. work from home at 33%. from May 2020 to March 2021. The desire to work from home after Covid-19 was only slightly higher for Democrats (46% vs. 45 for Republicans).
“Trump has aligned the Republican Party with being more worker and less educated, and these jobs have a much lower ability to work from home,” Bloom told Recode in an email.
Overall, however, working from home is a valuable perk, with the average employee saying it’s worth around 7% of their salary, according to Bloom’s study. It’s not worth much more than that. Our survey, which asked whether people would rather be able to work from home or receive a 10 percent pay raise, found that two-thirds of people would opt for the raise.
In addition to the 25% of employed people whose jobs are currently entirely remote, 30% said some of their work could be done remotely. It is likely that more jobs will have remote possibilities, as employers use it as an advantage to attract workers in a very tight labor market.
How commonplace remote working becomes remains to be seen, but supporters of the practice have public opinion on their side.