Does Location Influence Workplace Attitudes?

Study assesses regional differences

by RaeAnne Marsh

Attitudes toward work from home has become a favorite topic for surveys over the past year, and it is one aspect Nintex studies in its recent “Workplace 2021 Study.” But Nintex’s interest was not just on attitudes; it was on how attitudes differ from region to region.

Here in the Southwest, we have the second-best opportunities for career advancement this year, according to workers in the region. Seventy percent of workers believe there will be an opportunity to progress professionally at their current or a new company this year.

But is advancement expected to come without putting in extra work? Workers in the Southeast and Northeast are burning the midnight oil, as the majority of workers in both regions (72%) took the same or less PTO in 2020 than the year prior. This is in stark contrast to the Southwest and Northwest, where half of workers (45%) took more.

Terry Simpson, a researcher at Nintex, postulates that some of the driving forces could be generational where that may factor into the makeup of those regional populations. “The baby boomer population is more motivated by compensation. GenX is more interested in more efficient workplaces, automation and making their job easier through technology,” he says. GenX, having grown up with today’s technology, wants the instant gratification it enables; baby boomers are more tolerant of different methods. 

For Nintex, this turned out to be more than an academic exercise, as Simpson shares the company made changes to its employee time-off policies based on the study. “One of our big take-aways was to give employees flexibility, to take time off when they need it, as long as the work gets done — so our mental health is in the right place.”  

Attitudes toward the Evolving Workplace

Expected Productivity Levels

Region Percent of workers more productive than expected
Northwest  80% 
Southwest  74%
Midwest  67%
Northeast  65%
Southeast  61%

Emotional Toll of the Pandemic/Remote Work

Region Percent of workers more sad/lonely than usual
Northwest  29% 
Southwest  27%
Midwest  20%
Southeast  19%
Northeast  16%

Taking Advantage of Paid Time Off

Region Percent of workers who report taking more PTO than previous year
Northwest  45% 
Southwest  45%
Midwest  35%
Northeast  28%
Southeast  28%

Feeling the Impact of Current Events Locally

Region Percent of workers who say non-work-related political, public health and/or global events have impacted their productivity at work
Northwest  64% 
Southwest  62%
Midwest  53%
Southeast  51%
Northeast  47%

Eager to Get Back to the Office

Region Percent of workers very excited to return to the office ASAP
Northwest  67% 
Southwest  60%
Midwest  53%
Southeast  46%
Northeast  44%

Hopeful for Career Advancement

Region Percent of workers who believe there will an opportunity to progress professionally at their current or a new company this year
Northwest  86% 
Southwest  77%
Midwest  73%
Northeast  71%
Southeast  71%

Nintex is an independent software vendor and workflow company with customers in over 90 countries, helping public and private-sector organizations accelerate progress on their digital transformation journeys by quickly and easily managing, automating and optimizing business processes.

Regions defined

  • Northwest
    • Washington
    • Oregon
    • Idaho
    • Montana
    • Wyoming
    • California
  • Southwest
    • Nevada
    • Utah
    • Colorado
    • Arizona
    • New Mexico
    • Texas
    • Oklahoma
  • Midwest
    • North Dakota
    • South Dakota
    • Minnesota
    • Iowa
    • Nebraska
    • Kansas
    • Missouri
    • Wisconsin
    • Illinois
    • Michigan
    • Indiana
    • Ohio
  • Northeast
    • Maine
    • New Hampshire
    • Vermont
    • Massachusetts
    • Rhode Island
    • Connecticut
    • New York
    • New Jersey
    • Pennsylvania
    • Delaware
    • Maryland
  • Southeast
    • West Virginia
    • Virginia
    • Kentucky
    • Arkansas
    • Tennessee
    • North Carolina
    • South Carolina
    • Georgia
    • Alabama
    • Mississippi
    • Louisiana
    • Florida

Full Survey Methodology 

The findings reported in the Nintex Workplace 2021 Study are the result of a commissioned survey conducted by Lucid in September 2020. The survey comprises responses from 1,000 U.S.-based full-time enterprise employees working remotely and gauges employee sentiment toward the evolving workplace. The respondent pool included employees from organizations with anywhere from 500 to more than 50,000 employees, and included employees across ranks, from coordinators to C-suite executives.

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