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Spoiler alert: The shift to remote work has made Fido more spoiled than ever.

Three-quarters of remote workers in the U.S. surveyed by Digital.com, an online business-review platform, cited wanting to stay at home to take care of their pet during the workday as one of the reasons they hope to continue to telecommute even after the outbreak ends.

“For me, it’s because my French bulldog Olivia has separation anxiety. If I leave her alone for more than two hours, she starts making a mess of the house. So now I only work remotely, which allows me to be with her for the majority of the day,” Cristian Ungureanu, growth marketer at QuickMail.io, was cited as saying in the report.

It’s not just staying home with pets that is driving the desire for permanent remote work. Seventy-two percent of those polled cited the ability to more easily exercise or take a nap during the day as main reasons for wanting to preserve telework.

Amy Brownstein of PR Studio USA says she is more motivated to jump on her indoor bike while working from home.

“I want to stay at home because I have my Peloton right next to my office and I stare at it all day,” she told Digital. “I’m much more likely to bike during my lunch hour, shower and come back to work than when I left the office.”

‘Pandemic weight’ is a concern

Supervisors probably aren’t keen to learn this, but remote workers also enjoy other distractions when working at home. Seventy-three percent of respondents cited being able to be entertained by TV, podcasts, music and other media during the workday.

In addition, a lot of folks working from home perhaps have become too accustomed to working all day from their sofa while taking Zoom calls in their sweatpants.

A large majority said they are worried about their appearance should they be required to return to in-person work.

Sixty-two percent were concerned about their “pandemic weight” and outdated fashion sense, the poll found.

Still, when remote workers were asked to choose the reason that most affects their desire to continue telecommuting, caring for children ranked first, followed by the time savings that comes from a lack of a commute, the poll revealed.

More flexibility at the office could entice workers back

At the same time, remote workers could be enticed to return to the office if offered a few specific perks, the report said.

Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said benefits such as allowing pet or kid days at the office and relaxed dress codes would make them more willing to give up remote work.

“More people are starting to realize that there’s tremendous value in having the flexibility to work remotely,” Dennis Consorte, a small-business expert, said in the study. “They get to travel, to spend time with their families, to care for pets and to work without a boss constantly checking up on them. Businesses should embrace this reality and offer more flexibility, not less. Start paying more attention to the value that each worker produces, and less attention to the hours they spend glued to a desk.”

The survey of 1,000 U.S.-based remote workers was conducted on July 27, 2021.

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