Working From Home Surveys 2020 & 2021

Heather McLean

Form DC designed and conducted a Working From Home survey, completed in May 2020 (Survey 1), and April 2021 (Survey 2), a year on from the initial Covid-19 lockdown. The survey was completed, on an anonymous basis, by clients, colleagues, business associates, friends and family.

Responses for 2021 demonstrate that an increased number of respondents now have a dedicated workspace (top of the 2020 wish-list) and better technology than a year ago. They like being in control of their environment, particularly with regards to ventilation and privacy for VC meetings.

However, 83% of participants are looking forward to getting back to their office, an increase of 6% on last year, with a 24% decrease in those having concerns about their return.

The last 12 months has taken its toll on participants' physical health, with a slight decrease in average scores. Drilling down, we can see a decrease of 8% in those reporting good/very good physical health, alongside an increase of 18% in those reporting poor/very poor fitness levels.

More positively, we have seen good mental health scores increasing, with a 7% rise (to 58%), in those reporting theirs to be good/very good. Participants reporting poor/very poor mental health remain the same, at 14%.

Although participants are now working longer hours from home, many report positive aspects to this scenario, in particular that they are more independent, strong and productive than they had previously thought.

The drivers for return to respondents' normal places of work are slightly different than a year ago, with 2020 seeing more of a personal slant - people looking for a separation of work and home life, and a return to 'normality' - but 2021 shows a trend towards the need for networking, meeting colleagues and building relationships, particularly with clients. Difficulties in retaining company culture were also noted.

It's clear that most respondents have adapted well to working from home over the last 12 months but, when asked, 'What have you learned about yourself whilst wfh?', the need for interaction with others has now topped the charts (no 5 in 2020, now no 1).

Click the link to see WFH Surveys 1 and 2 Comparisons 2020 & 2021 data