A survey conducted by GitLab towards the end of 2020 has found that although 56 percent of workers began remote work for the first time last year, only 1 percent actually want to return to the office once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. The report attributes this to respondents having been able to successfully optimize their living situations to spend more time with family or community, to improve their health and exercise arrangements, or even to save money.
However, it should be noted that the vast majority of the survey's respondents are already well positioned for remote work, with 84 percent being in either professional services or technology—fields that have the knowledge and resources for a smooth transition.
For these respondents, though, their priorities in choosing a workspace are clear: 47 percent wanted to be closer to nature and outdoor spaces, 34 percent wanted a pleasant working environment, and 25 percent wanted to be closer to family or community.
The survey also found, however, that while remote work improves productivity—59 percent said their output went up when working remotely—it is also more likely to make teamwork less effective, with 34 percent saying teamwork became more difficult as compared to only 19 percent saying it improved.
In addition, the survey underscored that for fields amenable to remote work, it may actually improve retention significantly: 69 percent of respondents said they were likely or very likely to remain with their employer due to support of remote work. However, the survey did not look into whether employees would be more likely to leave if remote work was stopped.