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Only 12% of U.S. workers want to work from home full-time. Most want to return to the workplace, but with critical changes.

Only one in ten U.S. office workers had worked from home regularly before COVID-19, and less than a third had the choice to work from home. The experience offers a rare opportunity to rethink the future of physical workplaces and work. Gensler’s U.S. Work from Home Survey, 2020 is out, and the finds tell us a lot about how employees feel about returning to work, as well as what Millennials need in workspaces of the future.

What do people miss from the office?

Meetings and connecting with colleagues face-to-face. Nearly all workers list people-focused reasons as the most important for coming into the workplace, with little variation across industries. People still clearly prefer face-to-face interactions over virtual ones and miss the company of their coworkers.

Workers do expect crucial changes to the workplace before they are fully comfortable returning.

They want more space (less density) for social distancing and an assigned workspace. These measures can also improve performance of the workplace, addressing issues of noise and distraction that are already impacting effectiveness.

30% of U.S. workers surveyed would like a flexible work arrangement. Their spaces could be used for other functions when not in use as workspaces.

What do younger workers say?

Younger generations are less productive at home and less satisfied with the work-from-home experience.

Despite their technological preparedness for mobile work, younger workers report a far more challenging experience working from home than their older peers.

Vico Duo by Vico Magistretti office space
Fritz Hansen HQ in Allerød
Fritz Hansen HQ in Allerød Denmark
Vico Duo by Vico Magistretti in an office
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