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96% of People Say Remote or Hybrid Work Is Best For Their Mental Health: FlexJobs Reports

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According to FlexJobs’ 2023 Work Insights Survey of over 5,600 people, 96% of workers believe a remote or hybrid work arrangement would be best for their mental health. A hybrid workplace was reported as the ideal for 49% of workers, slightly outpacing a preference for a fully remote arrangement (47%). Only 4% of workers thought being in an office full-time was best for their mental health. Decreased stress levels was the top reported health benefit of remote work.

“Whether it’s due to reduced commuting stress, improved sleep, healthier eating, or decreased anxiety, workers clearly believe that remote work has an overall positive impact on their mental health,” said Sara Sutton, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs.

FlexJobs’ survey, which ran between May 3 and May 21, 2023, explored professionals’ perspectives on pressing workplace topics they’re currently facing in the shifting job landscape, including remote work’s impact on career advancement, mental health, and workplace collaboration, as well as issues of pay transparency in job postings and their overall career outlook.

Mental Health 

  • Working arrangements: 96% of workers think that remote or hybrid work would be the best working arrangement for their mental health. More specifically:
    • 47% said remote-only, completely working from home would be best for their mental health
    • 24% said hybrid, mostly remote, with occasional in-office work would be best
    • 17% said hybrid, remote with 2-3 days in the office would be best
    • 8% said hybrid, mostly in-office, with occasional remote work time would be best
    • 4% said in the office full-time, not working remotely at all would be best
  • 56% said having a job with remote work options has improved or would “definitely” improve their mental health.
  • Commuting Stress: 87% of workers say commuting impacts their stress levels to some degree, with over half (58%) specifying that commuting has either an enormous impact or it impacts them a lot.
    • 29% says it has an enormous impact on their stress levels
    • 29% says it impacts stress levels a lot
    • 29% says it impacts stress levels a little bit
    • 13% says it has no impact
  • Top Health Benefits: 48% of respondents said “decreased stress levels” was the top health benefit from remote work. Additional impacts cited:
    • Less burnout (36%)
    • Healthier food choices (35%)
    • Reduced anxiety and depression (34%)
    • Improved overall mental health (33%)
    • Improved sleep (32%)
    • Increased exercise (30%)
    • Improved overall physical health (28%)
    • Improved personal relationships (23%)

Pay Transparency 

  • 79% of people think that employers should be required by law to include salary in job postings. 11% said no and 10% weren’t sure.
  • 1 in 5 (20%) said they refuse to apply to jobs when the salary isn’t listed
  • 52% would only apply to a job without the salary listed if it was a “really great” job

Career Outlook & Optimism

  • 44% say they are more optimistic about their career prospects today compared to this time last year (May 2022)
  • 33% are more pessimistic about their career prospects compared to last year
  • The remaining 23% said there was no change

Remote Work Findings

  • Ideal Work Arrangement: Moving forward, 95% of workers want some form of remote or hybrid work.
    • 54% want to work from home full-time
    • 41% say hybrid is ideal
    • 5% would prefer full-time office work
      • Women prefer fully remote work environments more so than men, with 58% identifying this as the ideal compared to 42% of men who want to work full time from home.
  • Career Progression: Nearly one-third think a remote or hybrid job positively impacts career growth.
    • 30% say that having a remote or hybrid job has a positive impact on their career progression
    • 28% say it has no impact
    • 20% say it has a negative impact
    • 22% weren’t sure
  • Collaboration: More than one-third think collaboration suffers in a remote environment.
    • 36% think collaboration suffers in a remote environment
    • 33% don’t think it has an impact
    • 19% think collaboration improves in a remote environment
    • 12% weren’t sure
      • Men are more likely to think collaboration suffers in a remote environment, with 41% claiming the negative impact vs 34% of women who say the same
  • Challenges: The top challenges for remote workers are not related to productivity, but rather overworking (28%) and not leaving the house enough (28%). The biggest struggles as a remote or hybrid worker cited by respondents:
    • Not getting out of the house often enough (28%)
    • Overworking or working more (28%)
    • Working across different time zones (19%)
    • Developing strong relationships with co-workers (19%)
    • Troubleshooting technology problems (18%)
    • Dealing with non-work distractions (17%)
    • Being “invisible” to their boss (16%)
Related  The Evolution of Remote Work: Trends and Predictions for 2024

*FlexJobs created the survey, which was promoted to general audiences and its subscribers/members primarily through social media and newsletters. FlexJobs used a multiple choice and multi-select question format via SurveyMonkey’s online platform. The survey ran from May 3, 2023, to May 21, 2023.

Demographic breakdown of the 5,641 respondents: Gender: women (69%), men (28%) prefer not to identify/self-describe (3%); Generation: Gen Z (10%), millennial/Gen Y (34%), Gen X (34%), baby boomer (20%), silent generation (2%); Education: less than a high school degree (less than 2%), high school degree or equivalent (8%), some college but no degree (19%), associate’s degree (12%), bachelor’s degree (36%), graduate degree (24%); Career level: entry-level (11%), experienced (48%), manager (24%), director (11%), executive/c-suite (6%); forty-one percent had children 18 or younger living at home with them.

 

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About FlexJobs

FlexJobs is the leading career service specializing in remote, hybrid, and flexible jobs, with over 135 million people having used its resources since 2007. FlexJobs provides the highest-quality database of vetted remote and flexible job listings, from entry-level to executive, startups to public companies, part-time to full-time. To support job seekers in all phases of their career journey, FlexJobs also offers extensive expert advice, webinars, and other resources. In parallel, FlexJobs works with leading companies to recruit quality remote talent and optimize their remote and flexible workplace. A trusted source for data, trends, and insight, FlexJobs has been cited extensively in top national outlets, including CNN, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, CNBC, Forbes magazine, and many more.

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