WEF survey: Most people still prefer work-from-home option

A World Economic Forum survey shows most employees prefer working from the comforts of their homes though they aren’t sure how long this arrangement would continue

About 30% people said they would look to make a shift if compelled to go back to the office full time. | Representational image

Amid speculations that work from home (WFH) has fallen out of favour, an international survey has shown that a good number of employees still prefer a flexible work pattern over the office routine.

About 30% of people said they would look to make a shift if compelled to go back to the office full time, said an Ipsos survey for the World Economic Forum, conducted among 12,500 employed people in 29 countries. The survey was conducted between May 21 and June 2, 2021.

Women, parents of school-going children, people under 35 years of age and those who are financially stable were in the forefront demanding a flexi working system.

The general perception that people may want to go back to office because they miss their workplace and co-workers was supported by a minority of interviewees.


The report found that not more than 50% people missed their officemates while 64% said that work from home increased their productivity. Just one third said they are facing burn out. Only one in three persons questioned said they felt disengaged from work when working remotely.

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About 3/4th of employees batted for more flexible working in the days to come…a view that may set the future of job market.

Just about 1/3rd of people interviewed in India said they would return for five days a week working schedule. Employees from South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Peru and the US echoed similar views. Indians are the only ones who want WFH for 3.4 days a week. The world average is 2.5 days.

The survey highlights the shift to remote working caused by COVID-19. Before the pandemic, 53% said they mostly or always worked in an office. The number has now dropped to 39%.

The study found that before the COVID pandemic, just about 24% people worked from home. Today the number has risen to 39% with 22% more working outside their homes but not in an office set up.

Though most people like the comfort of their homes, about 50% say they will eventually have to return to office. About 27% think the day will arrive within six months while 24% say it will happen within a year.