Employees favor work-from-home to fight gas prices
(NewsNation) — Americans have fallen in love with working from home and want to make it permanent.
Nearly two-thirds of the country wants the government to require companies to have a work-from-home policy, according to a NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll released on Thursday. Even more poll respondents would like employers to offer a work-from-home option as a way to protect them against skyrocketing gas prices.
This comes at a pivotal moment for the nation’s pocketbooks and workplaces. American don’t see any relief in sight for gas prices; they expect them to be even more expensive six months from now, according to the NewsNation poll.
At the same time, employers ranging from Goldman Sachs to Telsa have pushed back against the work-from-home culture.
However, 76 percent of voters think they work just as well or better in a work-from-home environment, according to the NewsNation poll.
“I think companies should do incentives, and provide maybe a little gas money for employees, during this time,” Abby Harkins, a 27-year-old wedding planner from San Francisco, said Monday. Her employer requires her to be in office and she has to attend all the weddings she plans.
“I think a hybrid model is always good for companies, and I think half the time during the week would be great to save a little money that way, especially on gas,” Harkins said.
NewsNation and Decision Desk HQ polled 1,006 registered voters on Sunday and Monday on topics including gas prices, work from home policies, President Biden’s performance, abortion and other current events.
Inflation is America’s No. 1 concern. The price of gas is the most symbolic number for the rising costs of good in the country. The national average price of gas in the U.S. surpassed $5 per gallon for the first time on June 9, according to Gas Buddy.
Meaningful solutions have been hard to come by. President Biden on Wednesday outlined a plan to pause the federal gas tax through September. However, it’s unclear whether such a plan will make it through Congress and, if it did pass, whether oil companies would pass that savings on to commuters.
American workers, who got used to work-from-home during the COVID-19 pandemic, now see remote work as a partial solution to blunt the impact of high gas prices. Eight-six percent of voters favor their company allowing them to work from home to save money on gas, according to the NewsNation poll.
Overall, 63% of Americans favor a government policy mandating employers have a work-from-home option. This number varies depending on political affiliation, though the idea is popular no matter what party you prefer:
- 78% of Democrats favor a government work-from-home requirement for employers
- 58% of Republicans favor it
- 55% of independent voters favor it
Decision Desk HQ Senior Data Scientist Kiel Williams said Republicans are generally opposed to government intervention on the economy. But no matter your partisan preference the current mood is: “I don’t want to spend money on gas.’”
Some Americans are coming to terms with high gas prices. Thirty-six-year-old Chicago resident Stephanie Marquette said she has accepted expensive commutes.
“If (gas) continues to go up and up and up and it’s truly insane or people have crazy commutes and their boss knows that, then, yeah, maybe there should be some regulation,” Marquette said. “But honestly, this is just what it is. Gas goes up and down. And I’m just so used to it.”
NewsNation digital producers Joshua Eferighe and Liz Jassin contributed to this report.