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Most Americans want to keep working remotely or at home as part of work schedule

Will we ever get back to the office?
Will we ever get back to the office? 08:15

After a year of lockdowns that left many working Americans working from home or remotely, a large proportion of the U.S. workforce may not be eager to start working outside the home as restrictions ease across the country. 

Twenty-six percent of Americans who are employed either full or part time say their ideal working situation would be to work outside the home. But that doesn't mean most want to work solely from home either: just 19% say this is their ideal work situation. Instead, the most popular option is to have some sort of combination, chosen by 41% of working Americans. Another 14% would simply rather not work at all.

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The hybrid preference seems to be widespread, cutting across age groups, and it is the top choice of Americans who are employed both full and part time. There are some differences by gender: though both working men and women prefer a mix, men are twice as likely as women to prefer working outside the home, and by two-to-one, men would rather work fully outside the home than work fully from home or remotely. More women would rather work from inside the home or remotely all the time than only work outside of the home.

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This poll was conducted by telephone April 13-18, 2021 among a random sample of 1,011 adults nationwide.  Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA.  Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

 Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. The error for the sample of Americans who work full or part time could be plus or minus 4.3 percentage points. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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