A survey of Americans finds respondents have adapted and thrived with remote work and new technologies.
Deloitte, a London-based international professional services network, has released its 2022 connectivity and mobile trends report. It studied how U.S. homes adjusted to mobile devices and other technologies and how they interact with remote work in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic.
The study found that 75% of respondents prefer remote work, 45% of respondents were seeking out virtual health care visits, 70% of smartwatch users say wearables have improved their health and fitness, and 92% of users say 5G meets or exceeds expectations.
“To understand consumer attitudes toward ‘digital life,’ we conducted a survey of 2,005 U.S. consumers. Aspects of digital life that we surveyed include devices, connectivity, virtual experiences, wearables, and challenges of managing one’s digital life,” says Deloitte.
“Consumers can now be intentional about which activities to do virtually and which in-person, and they’re reporting that tech-enabled work, school, fitness, and healthcare—in the right measure—are making their lives better, healthier, and more fulfilling.”
Why it’s important
Remote work and technology are being more deeply integrated into daily life. The pandemic forced many changes into remote work, but many of those changes are improving the lives of employees.
There is a lot of disagreement between employees and employers about the viability and usefulness of remote work. Corporations are reporting the adverse effects remote work has on company cultures, communications, and profitability. Apple has been one of several companies threatening mandates to return staff to the office part-time. Employees aligned with the AppleTogether solidarity union opposed the mandate and gathered over 900 signatures to appeal it.
The Deloitte study would suggest that technology and virtual communications are going to become more ingrained into every aspect of life, including work, health care, and fitness. It acknowledges though that, despite a majority of employees being happy with remote work, there is still room for improvement. Respondents are reporting screen fatigue and are raising serious concerns about privacy and cybersecurity.
It also acknowledges that remote-work decisions must be made on a case-by-case basis. “Not all roles lend themselves to remote work and even in industries where positions can be performed remotely, there’s vigorous debate and negotiation between employers and workers on the best working models for the future,” says Deloitte.
Some 45% of respondents noted a member of their household is remote working regularly and 23% reported a family member taking remote education, down from 55% and 43% respectively.
Nearly 99% of respondents said they enjoyed remote working, that it allows them to avoid commuting, work more comfortably, avoid illnesses, focus better, and spend more time with family. It does create problems with work/life balance, stress, and technological limitations due to internet issues.
Eight in 10 respondents reported improved professional relationships, family relationships, and physical and emotional health.
A Basking.io study shows that 50% of remote workers have come into the office once per week in the last three months.
The return to office rate is only 44% nationally, according to MarketWatch.