FDU Poll: Nearly 1 in 5 would choose to always work from home

An FDU Poll released last week showed that potentially one in eight pre-pandemic employees expect to work from home full time moving forward — and that many more expect a hybrid work schedule.

It also revealed this: Workers want it that way.

While many are eager to get out and about and socialize now that most of the pandemic restrictions have been lifted, nearly one in three said they don’t need to do that in the workplace.

When asked what their preference would be, only 31% of those surveyed said they would choose to go in to work every day. A larger group (38%) said they would rather work from home some of the time, and go to work other times.

And 18% said they would prefer to always work from home.

Those under 35 are the most likely to want flexibility in their schedules, with 54% saying they would prefer to split their time between home and the workplace, compared with 35% of workers ages 35 to 64.

Workers with a college education are also less likely to say that they want to go to their workplace (28%) than those without a college degree (37%).

The poll surveyed 803 residents between June 9-16.

Dan Cassino, a professor of government and politics at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the executive director of the FDU Poll, said the findings show the impact the pandemic will have on the future of work.

“There have been some upsides to remote work, and some workers, especially younger ones, are loath to give them up,” he said. “Especially for younger, more educated workers, what they’ve been doing for the last year seems like a better deal than going to the office every day.”

The potential impact of this shift in work habits on transportation policy is clear from respondents’ descriptions of how they get to work, when they go.

Ten percent of New Jersey workers said they use mass transit (trains or buses) for their commute: a group that includes more college-educated (11%) workers than other workers (8%). With these workers being disproportionately likely to work from home going forward, mass transit may get less crowded, but lower ridership complicates funding for the system, which is often based on the number of riders.

“Trains and buses cost the same to run, no matter how many people are on them,” Cassino said. “If a lot of commuters are staying home, someone is going to have to start paying more to keep things going.”

Methodology: The survey was conducted between June 9-16, using a certified list of registered voters in New Jersey. Voters were randomly chosen from the list and contacted in one of two ways. Three-quarters of the respondents (608) received an invitation through SMS (text) to fill out the survey online, via a provided link. The other quarter of respondents (193) were contacted via telephone, using the same registered voter list. The survey covers 803 registered voters in New Jersey, ages 18 and older, and was conducted entirely in English.