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COVID: As Bay Area Offices Reopen Many Employees Still Want To Work From Home

SAN JOSE (KPIX) -- Working from home may not just be a pandemic perk. Instead, Californians are embracing the new way of life and hope it could be a permanent post even after COVID restrictions are lifted, according to a new survey released Monday by the University of Southern California.

"I'm done with the commute," said Dana Bordona. "We're not going back. They turned our office into a hub so we're pretty much permanent from home, but I'm OK with that."

Bordona, who is an analyst, will no longer have to make the daily two-hour commute to work.

In fact, 42 percent of full-time remote workers surveyed would rather continue to work remotely five days per week. While 21 percent said they're okay going into the office one or two days a week after the pandemic is over, including Bordona's husband, Jeff.

"It's good to go into the office maybe once or twice a week to just connect with folks," he said.

Then there are those who want to go back to the office full-time, including Eider Oliveria.

That group, which made up the smallest percentage, amounted to 17% of full-time telecommuters.

"I work for Google so we have a micro kitchen very close to my desk, I have a gym at work, I bike to work so I like that exercise," Oliveira said. "There are less distractions actually, I'm more productive."

The survey also points out that working remotely will cut down on the Bay Area's congestion. For those who used to commute five days a week, car trips would be reduced by 55 percent relative to pre-pandemic levels.

But that's not all. Overall, 95 percent of the 1,650 California residents surveyed expect distance-learning and telehealth combined would replace at least some vehicle trips for traditional in-person courses and medical visits.

"I actually think the working from home was a good thing for the environment," said Bordona.

"The more people we can get working from home, and doing that, it's going to just help tremendously with not only the environment and driving, but also parking," adds Jeff.

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