We’d rather work from home, state workers say – The Bethel Citizen - Freelance Rack

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Sunday, July 5, 2020

We’d rather work from home, state workers say – The Bethel Citizen

A survey of more than 7,000 Maine state employees conducted in May found that most were happy working from home and only 5 percent wished to return to their workplace full time.

According to the survey’s results, 82 percent were satisfied with their current remote work situations. It found that 38 percent would prefer a combination of office work and remote work, and 36 percent would like to continue working entirely from home.

The survey was released in mid-June by the state Department of Administrative and Financial Services. It will help inform decisions by a transition team developing plans around the future workplaces for the state government employees such as continuing to work from home, coming back to the office or a combination of the two. Nearly 7,150 workers responded, according to Kyle Hadyniak, a department spokesman.

“We certainly recognize and understand the concern that some employees may have with returning to their workspace,” Hadyniak said. “Throughout this process, we will continue to focus on CDC guidance regarding the cleaning of spaces, cloth face coverings, physical distancing, and minimizing shared spaces.”

Roughly six in 10 respondents are office workers. Eight in 10 said they had all the equipment they needed to work from home. Roughly one-third said they used video chat or conferencing one to three times daily for meetings to stay in touch with co-workers or supervisors.

But when asked about the biggest challenges of remote work, 28 percent identified their workspace and 21 percent said connections to their colleagues. Communications and distractions at home each were challenges for 13 percent of respondents.

Workers were asked how engaged and connected they felt to their co-workers while working remotely. Roughly half said they felt very connected, and 43 percent said somewhat connected.

For workers who remain in the office, however, 93 percent said they were satisfied, and a similar percentage said they were able to get their jobs done with fewer co-workers.

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