Submitted by: Brandon Scott, Brianna Pettit, and Stephen Holland

Did you work from home during the pandemic? 

82% Yes

18% No

When did you start working from home?

78% Since beginning of pandemic

9% Never

How many people are in your household?

47% Alone

37% One more

16% Two or more

Your productivity?

46% Increased

23% Decreased

31% No change

Your mental health?

34% Better

35% Worse

30% No change

Your physical health?

27% Improved

39% Declined

34% No Change

Endure added costs?

30% Less than $25/month

24% $26-$50

11% $50-$100

10% $100+

25% Not sure

Did your employer help with added costs?

63% No

37% Yes

Where do you prefer working? 

33% Home

13% Office

54% Hybrid

Excited to return to office?

42% Reluctant

32% Excited

26% Won’t go back 

Who wants you out of the house more?

54% Me

42% They all want me to stay

6% Housemates/spouses/pets

Which protocols would make you feel safer?

Scored highest: Less time in office, better ventilation systems

Scored second highest: More outdoor meetings, more space, less people

Scored lowest: Masks, social distancing, plastic shields

Has your employer been flexible about returning to office?

82% Yes

18% No

Does your employer expect you to return?

40% Yes

25% No

35% Not sure

What do you prefer? 

78% Hybrid

11% Work only from home

11% Full return to office 

Did you wish for a different career during the pandemic?

76% No

24% Yes

Dozens of readers responded to our poll and filled out the associated questionnaire from late May until early June. Here are the results of the poll and the most interesting answers provided. There are also some photos from readers who shared their work-from-home situations with us. 

“I have a cat who is a drama queen who annoys me endlessly. No help for that.”
— Betsy Gallery, Santa Barbara

“The ability to go work out in my garage at lunch, no commute time, taking phone calls while walking my dog, and my recently acquired hobby of feeding the birds outside my open office door. I have a beautiful view of nature out my door, which is always open. And I now have about eight species of birds that come to my feeders (nerd, I know).”
— Anonymous

“I enjoy easing into my workday instead of the crazed rush out of the house, hunt for coffee, and traffic.”
— Chelsea Lyon-Hayden, Mission Canyon

“No separation between work and personal life. My office is my dining room, so it’s too easy to get sucked into work on the weekends, or to work late. My wife and I are both working from home. We each occupy half of the dining room table. It makes it tough when we both have meetings at the same time.”
— Robert Allen, Goleta

“At the initial stages of the pandemic, our younger, entry-level employees left the area and returned home to live with their families. As a manager, I absorbed the workload(s) and have had difficulties hiring to spread out responsibilities ever since. My stress level and responsibility level has increased dramatically; however, clients seemed to be more understanding mid-pandemic. Attitudes and expectations appear to be changing now.”
— Katrina Olthof, Lompoc

“I’ve learned to share up front what my work-from-home situation is, just in case there is too much action behind me. That seems to help.”
— Anne Salgado, Santa Barbara 

“I have my computer set up next to sliding-glass doors that open onto a garden, and I can see birds coming to feeders and to a fountain. For the pandemic, I added more hummingbird feeders.”
— Anonymous

“I look forward to in-person celebration of successes. Over the last year, we’ve been sent gift cards, which is nice, but I would like to celebrate with my team together.”
— Lisa Blake, Santa Barbara

“I feel like I’ve gotten a chance to get to know my neighborhood better. I see the rhythms of the week a lot differently, and feel like I’ve gotten to know some of my neighbors even better — strangely, even if I haven’t talked to them…. We’re all surviving in a global public health crisis unlike anything we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes. If people can’t handle the dog barking, or the little dog sleeping behind me, that’s their problem, not mine.”
— Kristiana Almeida, Santa Barbara 

“I feel like our staff of 20 is missing the connective tissue that keeps an organization healthy. I’ve taken many hiking meetings with colleagues on weekend mornings to talk through bigger items and check in with people personally.”
— Sigrid Wright, Santa Barbara

“Parts of my work experience have been enriched, as I’ve been able to have many meetings with colleagues in geographically distanced locations without losing time in drive time. [The best part of working from home is the] ability to take those mental-health breaks, including perhaps a sob here and there, in a safe, familiar space.”
— Lynn E. Goebel, Santa Barbara


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