Americans admit they've missed the mundane things they used to take for granted pre-pandemic

·3-min read

New research has found two in three Americans are more excited to return to their normal ways of living than anything else in their lives — even if it means being stuck in traffic again.

A survey of 2,000 general population Americans found that people are most excited to return to everyday things, like their pre-pandemic morning routines (42%), wearing make-up (34%) and chatting with coworkers and friends in-person again (34%).

Two-thirds of respondents said they have missed the mundane things they used to take for granted pre-pandemic, like nights on the town, shaking hands and spending time in their vehicles going to and from their daily activities.

One respondent even recalled missing office lunch breaks: "I'm looking forward to having lunch at my work desk again. It's always a time to eat in peace without being interrupted. It'll be nice to see new faces and to smell what other colleagues are heating up for lunch."

Since the pandemic began, 55% have upgraded their wardrobe in anticipation of a post-COVID lifestyle. Nearly as many (53%) have missed daily, non-work-related conversations with coworkers, while 48% have missed taking care of their cars.

Commissioned by Endurance Warranty and conducted by OnePoll, the study also found 58% of those who normally travel on a daily basis miss their commutes.

This is notably true for three in four (76%) of carpool commuters and two-thirds (68%) of those who would normally take the bus to work.

During their commutes, people miss listening to podcasts (55%), singing car karaoke (55%), listening to the news (53%) and just having time to themselves (52%).

Fifty-nine percent of these daily commuters have begun to return to their normal commute. Of those commuters, 74% underestimated how long their travel time would be as they return to normal.

Forms of communal transportation have especially been shocked by commute times. Sixty-two percent of carpoolers, 52% of bus riders and 42% of subway riders all agree they underestimated the amount of time that would be needed.

"We completely understand why people are eager to return to their pre-pandemic norms," said Melissa Balsan, Chief Marketing Officer at Endurance. "The past year has been a major adjustment for all of us and simply getting back into the swing of old daily routines — from doing your hair to driving to work — is often all it takes to help people feel that life is beginning to normalize again."

While Americans have plenty of things they miss, some are better off left in the pre-pandemic world.

A third of respondents hope 'pointless small talk' becomes a thing of the past, along with having to always look presentable (31%) and going to movie theaters (30%).

Four in ten don't look forward to having a morning routine that pushes them out of the house again. Half have said that it'll be hard for them to go back into the office again after having become accustomed to going straight from their bed to their desk.

Data further showed 46% prefer video calls over in-person interactions.

"Despite the things we've all missed over the past year, it's hard to argue against many of the niceties that come with working from home," added Balsan. "While being remote means leaving those pre-pandemic annoyances in the rearview, many of us are still longing to get out of the house and get back to the activities and pastimes we reluctantly left behind."

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