A recent report by Citrix Systems Inc. and OnePoll found despite the challenges to work-life balance that can come with working from home, employees and employers alike are increasingly signalling that the shift to remote working is here for the long term.

According to the report, when asked how they’d prefer to work after the coronavirus pandemic ends, 52 per cent of U.S. employees surveyed said they want a hybrid model, where they can choose to work remotely or from the office each day, and 16 per cent indicated they have no interest in returning to the office and would prefer to work remotely.

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While many employers viewed remote work as a short-term solution to the pandemic, many now recognize it must be part of their permanent workforce and cost-management strategies, noted the report. “If there’s an iota of a silver lining in this crisis we’ve all been living through, it’s that it’s caused us to fundamentally rethink work — where it gets done, how it gets done and even who does it,” said Tim Minahan, Citrix’s executive vice-president of strategy, in a press release.

But working from home wasn’t viewed as rosy by all employees, as two-thirds said they’re working the same hours, or more even, despite saving time on commuting. And while employees working from home have remained productive, many are struggling amid the lack of boundaries between their work and personal lives. In fact, 41 per cent of the respondents cited having distractions in their home environment (children, pets, etc.), 28 per cent noted they lack appropriate technologies and applications to get work done and 36 per cent said they feel isolated and out of touch with their colleagues.

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Nonetheless, a majority of employees have embraced remote working for good, as nearly 75 per cent of the respondents said they’d consider relocating to a different city if they could perform their role to the same level without commuting to a place of work. And, notably, 45 per cent noted if they were to change jobs, they would only accept a role that offered flexible and remote-work options.

As well, a separate survey by Citrix and OnePoll found one in four employees have abandoned their city dwellings, or plan to do so, because they can work remotely.

“Both companies and employees have seen the benefits more flexible work models can bring in terms of productivity, engagement and well-being. And they are not going back to working the way they did,” said Minahan.

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