Workers Concerned That Workplace Freedom Will Disappear in 2022 According to New RingCentral Survey

80% of Americans believe they currently have the freedom to work from anywhere but only 12% believe they will have the same freedom in 2022

A new research study by RingCentral, Inc., a leading provider of global enterprise cloud communications, video meetings, collaboration, and contact center solutions, found that while the majority of American workers (80%) have the freedom to work from anywhere as 2021 draws to a close, a very small percentage (12%) believe that this same freedom will carry forward into the new year. The survey also revealed that if forced back into the office, 1 out of 3 Americans will leave their job. In fact, 52% of workers said they’d rather wash their dishes and 40% said they’d rather clean their toilet at home than commute to the office, clearly highlighting their lack of desire to be back in the office.

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“Our survey clearly indicates that while workers are feeling stable and settled, business decision makers have a greater desire to come to the office”

RingCentral conducted this survey in collaboration with Ipsos, a multinational market research and consulting firm, and questioned 9,000 workers in five countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, France, and Germany. The survey was conducted with a desire to understand the impact of the pandemic on the workforce across various elements including, but not limited to, isolation, loneliness, a desire to connect, meeting new colleagues, confidence in return to office plans, and others.

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The results bring to light a big disparity between business decision makersand workers2 across the following elements. Some highlights include:

  • Isolation: 46% of business decision makers felt isolated and lonely, while working from home compared to only 34% of workers
  • Impact of loneliness on ability to do their job: 47% of the business decision makers who feel lonely due to remote work, believe it is impacting their ability to do their job
  • Desire to connect more: 43% of business decision makers say they want to connect more with employees and therefore want to return to the office compared to only 16% of workers
  • Meeting new colleagues: 59% of business decision makers claim that they are working with colleagues they have never met compared to only 36% of workers, which is rapidly driving the desire of business decision makers to go back to the office
  • Confidence in return to office plans: 74% of business decision makers are confident in their employer’s plan for return to office vs. 52% of workers

Conversely, the survey results also bring to life that workers are happier now than they were at the beginning of the pandemic and have adjusted to either working remotely or in a hybrid environment.

“Our survey clearly indicates that while workers are feeling stable and settled, business decision makers have a greater desire to come to the office,” said Gunjan Aggarwal, executive vice president and chief people officer at RingCentral. “The data also supports the narrative that if organizations do not proactively co-create with their employees a new hybrid model focused on productivity and engagement, some employees will leave their organizations and others will feel disenfranchised. There is no doubt that the future of work will be hybrid but what’s becoming clear is that employees will have a bigger say, than ever before, on what that flexibility and hybrid work means to them and suits their needs.”

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