NEW YORK — Working from the comfort of your couch may actually boost your confidence — especially when it comes to interviewing for new jobs. A new study finds seven in 10 Americans believe they’ve become more confident since switching to remote work.
In a recent survey of 2,000 Americans who’ve worked remotely during the pandemic, seven in 10 also find it easier to request more paid time off from their employer and 67 percent feel more comfortable asking for flexible working hours or mental/physical wellness support. That personal confidence is also in line with respondents’ view of their employers.
A little trust goes a long way
The comforts of working from home seem to be the key in all this. Remote workers cited being able to email/instant message instead of talking (53%), wear comfortable clothing (52%), and complete a random Google search without people watching them (45%) as the top confidence boosters. When a new job opportunity pops up, nearly two-thirds say they’ve become more confident asking bolder questions when interviewing for the position.
Remote workers are also learning to appreciate the time they’re saving by not commuting. The average employee has saved 252 hours in the past two years by not traveling to work every day. Eight in 10 say this has allowed them to accomplish a lot more during their day.
More me-time for remote workers
Americans are using this extra time to exercise (43%), finish more household chores (41%), and learn new skills such as making videos (37%). Nearly half the poll add they’re now more confident when cooking or baking (48%).
Remote work has also allowed many to strengthen their relationships with family or friends (52%), become more at ease when it comes to meeting new people (49%), and achieve a wellness goal such as losing weight (46%).
More than a quarter have even seen a New Year’s resolution through to completion while working from home.
When asked about the greatest goal they’ve been able to accomplish while working remotely, people cited taking the time to improve their mental and physical health along with accomplishing career-related goals — such as “being my own boss” and “learning how to invest in the collectibles market.”
“The pandemic forever changed the world of work and put more power into the hands of talent,” says Sarah Fern, Velocity Global chief people officer, in a statement. “The freedom of a more flexible schedule and location allowed people to invest more time in both their personal and professional lives. Businesses see opportunity, too. The more fulfilled people are, the more productive they are at work.”
Employer ‘standards’ are rising too
Remote work is also inspiring many to up the ante in their employment standards. Two-thirds are now less tolerant of an unsatisfying job than they were two years ago.
In particular, respondents are less willing to put up with a toxic work environment such as bullying and discrimination (55%), “burnout” culture (47%), a low salary (46%), and lack of growth opportunities (42%). Luckily, two in three Americans (65%) feel fulfilled in their career for the first time in their life.
“Talent is clearly putting employers on notice: maximize flexibility for the good of employees and business, or they’ll go find an employer that will,” Fern adds. “I’m encouraged that three in four remote workers say they have a newfound appreciation for their current company. That means businesses are answering the call.”