This is what workers are willing to give up to keep working remotely

As workers await word on whether they will be returning to the office sooner rather than later, the prospect of reentering offices around the country sounds like a warm welcome for those that have struggled working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But if workers were asked to return to the office today, more than a third of Americans said they would quit right on the spot, according to the survey.

In a poll commissioned by Wisetail with OnePoll, a study examine remote employee and employees that work from the office took a look into the ever-changing working landscape caused by the coronavirus pandemic. While workers have expressed a yearning for their commutes, daily routines and other parts of the normal workday, many have embraced this new era of working and want remote working to continue long past the pandemic’s end — to the point where they would even take a pay cut.

More than a third of remote respondents (39%) said that they would rather take a smaller salary than step foot into an office again. For workers that previously worked inside an office, 45% of in-person workers said they wouldn’t give up extra money.

In terms of onboarding during the pandemic, integrating new workers into a remote workforce can be challenging prospect for employers, but the study found that nearly seven in 10 of new hires within the past year started remotely. A way to ease the tension of virtual onboarding is having higher-ups at the company discuss prospects with the candidate, as 69% of respondents said their company’s CEO spoke to them directly while being onboarding for their new position.

That’s a start difference from candidates that were hired when offices were open, as more than a half (52%) of respondents said they didn’t have that opportunity then.

“First days always include a level of uneasiness and shifting to remote on boarding can exacerbate this experience,” said Ali Knapp, president of Wisetail, in a statement. “Today companies realize that investing in their people strategies including — learning, development, communication, and talent management — are key to overarching business strategies.

“As the world changes, employees are choosing to work with companies that invest in their people in the form of corporate responsibility, and that includes employee health and wellness. Another component of this is supporting employees in a remote setting, which includes investing in technology that strengthens the remote employee experience.”

Benefits were also an important — and major — deciding factor for employees before taking a job. Sixty-nine percent said it’s the major decider when accepting an offer, with many expressing strong interest in health insurance (55%), dental insurance (33%), retirement options (29%) and vision (24%).

Benefits Americans want

1. Health insurance – 55%
2. Dental insurance – 33%
3. Retirement plans/options – 29%
4. Vision insurance – 24%
5. Having good company culture and morale – 24%
6. Being able to talk directly to my boss if needed – 14%
7. Being able to set my own hours – 12%
8. Remote working tools – 11%
9. Having strong sick day policies – 11%
10. Stock/equity options – 10%