by Brandon Butler
Working from home after the pandemic 3/15/2021

Sam Baker with Axios is reporting on a new poll today that shows Americans like the work from home lifestyle and might want to keep doing it even after offices reopen:

Americans have also gotten used to working from home, according to the Harris Poll data, which were pulled from a comprehensive report combining multiple surveys over the past year.

67% said their lifestyles have gotten healthier while working from home, and 55% said they’ve discovered that they didn’t miss the office as much as they thought they would.

I definitely prefer the work from home style, and my company is slowly coming around to supporting it once they reopen. I say “slowly” because for months they’ve been saying we’re all going back into the office when it’s safe, but they closed my nearby office and opened a new office that’s over an hour’s commute away.

But even if the same, nearby office was reopening, I’d still prefer to work from home. I save so much money on gas, wear and tear on the car, and lunch. Plus I get to set my own climate controls at home, I can wear what I feel comfortable wearing (or not wearing), I have a great view out my window, and I have a furry co-worker who doesn’t annoy me. The thirty minutes I don’t spend driving to the office and the thirty home gives me back an hour of my day, which I use to take walks (in what often feels like a futile effort) to improve my health.

I know several of my co-workers prefer to work at the office for whatever reason — escape from their family, or socializing with co-workers, or just enjoying the serenity of cubicle farms, and for them, sure, give them a cube and some harsh overhead fluorescent lighting.

Me? I’m just happier at home, and that should be reason enough to let me stay here.

But I find this particularly disturbing:

74% of Americans who are working from home said they’d consider taking a “workcation” — going somewhere else for a while, but working while there.

Americans are really bad at taking vacations and not working. I often see and hear from co-workers who are on paid time off of some kind but are still checking email or running reports or doing work. Americans already are some of the most overworked with the least amount of vacation and sick time provided to us compared to the rest of the world; I can’t understand the mentality of using that little time where we are paid not to work — to work! When I take time off I am completely offline as far as my employer is concerned, and they know this. There’s absolutely nothing I do that one of my 50,000 co-workers can’t do for one week each year. Maybe we just don’t like to admit it, but the vast majority of us are just not that individually essential to our companies.