Napping? Watching TV? Survey finds unusual reasons people want to keep working from home

Staying home to care for pets was the third most frequently cited reason for continuing to work from home, according to the survey. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Millions of Americans working at home are finding it is not an automatic option, and may be having discussions with their manager about how to continue it. They should pick and choose the reasons they bring up in those discussions carefully.

A recent survey of workers who began working remotely during the pandemic and want to continue to do so found the top two reasons are not unreasonable.

When asked which reason most affects a new remote workers’ desire to continue working remotely, caring for kids and saving money and time on a commute were by far the top responses.

“People are realizing that their time matters,” said small business and startup marketing expert Dennis Consorte. “Childcare is very expensive. Of course it is reasonable to want to work from home and save the time and the cost of commuting and the cost of child care.”

The third-most popular reason may not convince the boss: Caring for pets. received a few unreasonable reasons as answers as well, such as watching TV or listening to music while working.

“In most cases, you probably don’t want to tell your boss that you want to watch TV while you work. But you also don’t want to watch TV while you work. The same thing happens whether you are at home or in the office. The important thing is to focus on your work when you’re working,” Consorte said.

Another top reason for wanting to continue working remotely probably won’t carry much weight with the manager or supervisor considering remote work requests. It is the ability to work out, or to take a nap.

Another reason cited by a surprising 62% of respondents — though not necessarily as the top reason — was concern about their appearance and seeing coworkers in person again.

“People have been depressed. They’ve been emotional-eating. They’re not exercising. They’re doing all the things they shouldn’t do,” Consorte said. “Recognize that other people have gone through very similar circumstances, and most people are going to be understanding and accept you for who you are. But that doesn’t mean you should continue with unhealthy activities.”

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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