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    How remote work may impact employees’ confidence

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    Working from the comfort of your couch may actually boost your confidence — seven in 10 Americans said they’ve become more confident since working remotely, new research suggests.

    In a recent survey of 2,000 Americans who’ve worked remotely during the pandemic, seven in 10 said they find it easier to request more paid time off from their employer, and 67% feel more comfortable asking for flexible working hours and mental/physical wellness support.

    That personal confidence is also in line with respondents’ view of their employer.

    Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Velocity Global, the survey also revealed 73% have a newfound appreciation for their current job/company.

    The comforts of working from home seem to have done the trick — people cited being able to email/instant message instead of talking (53%), wear comfortable clothing (52%) and do a Google search without being seen (45%) as the top confidence boosters.

    And nearly two-thirds said they’ve become more confident asking bolder questions if they were to interview for a new job.

    Another thing people have come 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 said this has allowed them to accomplish a lot more in a given day.

    People have used this extra time to exercise (43%), get more chores done (41%) and learn new skills such as making videos (37%). And nearly half said they’re now more confident when cooking/baking (48%).

    Remote work has also allowed many to strengthen their relationships with family/friends (52%), become more at ease when it comes to meeting new people (49%) and achieve a wellness goal such as losing/gaining weight (46%).

    More than a quarter have even seen a New Year’s resolution through to completion.

    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,” said Sarah Fern, Velocity Global chief people officer. “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.”

    Remote work has also inspired many to up the ante in their employment standards — two-thirds said they would now be 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%).

    And 65% said they 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 added. “I’m encouraged that 3-in-4 remote workers say they have a newfound appreciation for their current company. That means businesses are answering the call.”

    GREATEST GOALS ACCOMPLISHED WHILE WORKING REMOTELY

    • “Able to cook all my own meals and save money.”
    • “Being able to be a full-time caregiver to my 87-year-old mother.”
    • “Being my own boss.”
    • “Building a stronger relationship with my kids even though it was all done virtually.”
    • “Earned the AWS Solutions Architect Certification.”
    • “Getting in shape after being out of shape for eight years and restarting my bachelor’s degree.”
    • “I have reduced my anxiety.”
    • “I have been able to learn Spanish.”
    • “I started my ROTH IRA because I saved money from eating out and transportation.”
    • “I learned how to invest in the collectibles market.”
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    AUTHOR

    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien