The Pursuit of (WFH) Happiness: Arizonans among the least happy WFH employees, according to study

  • Law industry workers are the happiest WFH; IT professionals the least.
  • The longest average time employees go without leaving home is 3.7 days in a row.

If there’s one thing we can all agree on about 2020, it’s that most of us have never spent so much time at home. With bans on travel and going into the office, we’ve had to adapt, and fast. But how has working from home (WFH) affected us? Leading lifestyle, gear gadget and style website, Improb.com polled 3,000 WFH employees across the country to find out, and in general, it appears Arizonans have not taken to it well!

The average employee in the Grand Canyon State rates their happiness to work from home at just 6/10, below the national average of 6.6/10. It appears the real winners are South Dakotans, who sound like they never want to set foot in an office again: they rate their happiness at a weighty 9/10. Those clearly champing at the bit to get back to the watercooler are in West Virginia, where the WFH happiness factor is only 4.5/10. Perhaps points were deducted for frustratingly small workstations, or screaming neighborhood kids in the background, or feelings of cabin fever brought on by WFH.

Check out Improb.com’s Work From Home Happiness Index

Broken down by industry, the happiest home-workers are in the law industry, at 7.1/10; perhaps high-earning lawyers can afford a pretty sweet home office set up, complete with a decent Wifi connection, and a printer that actually works. Conversely, and perhaps somewhat ironically, given that their job is to help others with their computer set-ups, those in IT are the least happy to be working from home, with a happiness ranking of just 4.9/10. Maybe the lack of access to the superior equipment of the office means their weaker home broadband speeds just can’t compete… at any rate, have they tried just turning it off and back on again?

Industry WFH Happiness Breakdown:

Charity:           5.8/10
Education:      5.4/10
Real Estate:    6.0/10
Tech:                6.6/10
Advertising:    6.3/10
Media:              6.4/10
Law:                  7.1/10
Banking:          6.8/10
IT:                     4.9/10

WFH seems to have turned us into serious home bodies. Like, people who almost never actually leave their house. The survey found that the longest employees go without setting foot outside their front door is a slightly concerning 3.7 days in a row. Hey, it’s not prison –  you are allowed to go out for a sandwich occasionally! But then the snag when your home is now your office is that you can find it hard to switch off; over half of employees (61%) say they put in more hours of work each day when WFH than they do in their physical workplace. And over half (55%) take fewer breaks than they would have if they were at the office… Were we all just slacking off before? Or is it maybe that without the distraction of other people we find we can actually get more done? One thing’s for sure, a significant 76% of employees have said they take fewer sick days while WFH (though perhaps that’s because there are fewer viruses floating around!) Employers, take note!

It sounds like productivity and happiness are on the up when people WFH,’ says Alex Coleman from Improb.com. ‘Perhaps when the worst of the pandemic is over, companies will look at a flexible solution, allowing employees to have the best of both worlds; the convenience of working from home a few days a week, combined with the sociability of being back in the office for the rest of it.’

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