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Excerpt from keynote during Tango’s virtual retail summit Moving Forward: Workplace 2.0 on June 24-25, 2020.

Working from Home is not for Everyone

Pranav Tyagi – President & CEO, Tango:

“Obviously there’s, a lot of people are working from home. As this pandemic accelerated, the unprecedented experiment offering of working from home was pressed upon almost every business, including us. Looking at some stats here on the screen from a Gallup poll, as well as some independent research from McKinsey, there are some very interesting stats here. About 25% of the people had worked from home at least some portion of the time before the crisis. That number jumped up to 62% during this COVID crisis. That’s not a surprise. We’re all used to working from home.

“The same McKinsey research also found that 80% of the people enjoyed working from home. And about 70%, roughly, 69% roughly, felt that they were at least as productive, if not more productive while working from home. So that’s an interesting trend and statistic, but what does it mean for the office environment in the future? So there’s another study, a survey on U.S. Work from Home Survey that was done by Gensler that found some underlying trends that seem to suggest that the office is certainly not dead in the future. In this 2020 work from home survey, only 12% of the U.S. workers actually want to work from home full-time. Even though 70% felt that they were at least as productive from home, only 12% actually want to work from home. Also somewhat surprising in the study, younger generations feel less productive at home. And these are the people who we would have thought were better equipped and more attuned with technology skills and the internet. What is also clear is across generations of workers is that they expect and want a much different work environment when they do return to the office.

“So let’s dive a bit deeper into this because there are some underlying themes in this particular survey that I think we need to understand. As I mentioned, only 12% wanted to work from home full-time. A vast majority, about 70% want to work in the office for the majority of the week. And a full 44% do not want to work from home at all. Remember I said 69% were at least as productive, but 44% absolutely do not want to work from home at all. This has to do with their personal circumstance and situation and other factors.

“So as far as productivity goes, this particular slide kind of dives a little bit deeper into it. And it has some interesting stats around the difference in perceptions of the younger generation versus the older generation. Only 35% of Gen Zs and Millennials actually feel like they’ve made a difference on any given day, compared to 39% and 44% of the Gen Xs and the Baby Boomers, respectively. The younger generations just don’t feel as productive. They feel like they’ve got less of an understanding of what’s expected from them. They find working from home more stressful and feel they get less work done than the older generation. I mean, this is a pretty interesting analysis, not what I would’ve expected, but certainly, the trends are pretty clear ”

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