I recently asked a team of our advanced analysts to establish an over/under for how many U.S. employees will not be returning to the office full time in the future.

Here are some key facts I learned from them. There are 125 million full-time jobs in America. Of those, right at 50% — or about 60 million — report that their current job can be done remotely working from home. We interviewed a representative sample of them.

The research design included organizations ranging from accounting firms where all employees can work from home (WFH) to construction companies where 10% of employees are in corporate backrooms and can also work remotely. The sample includes everyone from any kind of organization who believes they can do their work from home.

Of those 60 million potential WFH employees, a staggering 30% said they would prefer to “never” come into the office during the week. Ten percent (10%) said they prefer working all five days in the office. The middle 60% want a blend of one to four days per week. The most common preference was two to three days in the office per week.

When we asked the “nevers” and the “blends” why they want to be at home, they said it 1) eliminates my commute, 2) improves my overall wellbeing and 3) offers flexibility to balance family needs or other obligations.

Within the combination of those three demands lies a very powerful force of human nature — one that won’t accept the traditional office routine going forward.

The research question was aimed at predicting the percent of people who anticipate working from home in 2022 and how many of their offices, desks and cubicles will be empty in the future.

Our over/under is 37% empty desks.

READ MORE:  https://www.gallup.com/workplace/357779/bet-desks-empty.aspx