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Although the number of people working remotely has remained consistent over the past year, the percentages vary widely by occupation—and 40% of white-collar workers say they prefer home over the office, according to a Gallup poll.
Despite states lifting Covid restrictions and vaccination rates increasing, there are as many white-collar workers working virtually in 2021 as there were last year, according to a Gallup poll. The analysis points out the remote work percentages have been fairly consistent since last fall, after declining from their peaks in April 2020, when most schools and nonessential businesses were shut down.
The poll found that 51% of the overall workforce is working remotely, but that the numbers change drastically by job type. For example, 72% of white-collar workers are working remotely, while only 14% of blue-collar workers are performing their jobs all or part of the time from home.
When broken down by occupation, the survey shows that people working in computer-oriented or mathematical fields (86%) are more likely to still be working remotely. The fields that follow in the percentage of people working remotely include: life, physical or social sciences (86%); arts, design, entertainment or media (81%); and financial services, insurance, real estate or consulting (80%).
Blue-collar jobs have much lower percentages of remote workers—construction/mining (16%), transportation (14%), manufacturing/production (8%) and service (9%)—the polling shows.
When those working remotely were asked about their preferred work arrangement once restrictions are lifted and employers give them a choice, 35% surveyed say they will continue to work from home, while only 17% say they would choose to return to the office. Four-in-10 white-collar workers prefer remote work.
Gallup's remote-worker trend report is based on data collected each month via the web as part of its Covid-19 tracking poll, a nationally representative survey of U.S. adults aged 18 and older. Workers are considered remote if they reported working from home at least 10% of the time in the past week.
The employed adults reviewed in the analysis include 7,274 adults who were employed between October 2020 and April 2021. For results based on the total sample of employed adults, the margin of sampling error was ±2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
To see a more detailed analysis of the survey click here.
Brent Woodie is an associate editor at Route Fifty.