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Here's how Midday Workouts and Salon Appointments Have Become Common in the Post-Pandemic Era

Victoria McCutcheon, owner of a beauty salon notes a shift in appointment patterns since COVID-19, with some clients now booking on Saturdays due to increased in-office work expectations.
Cover Image Source: Midday appointments may decline as employees return to the office (representative image) | Photo by Sergey Makashin | Pexels
Cover Image Source: Midday appointments may decline as employees return to the office (representative image) | Photo by Sergey Makashin | Pexels

Victoria McCutcheon was in her Philadelphia salon, Wash~Day, busy doing a client's hair. On this lovely Wednesday morning, she had a full agenda that would go until the late afternoon. McCutcheon observed that individuals had been more accommodating with their time since the COVID-19 quarantine, taking pauses for self-care, as per The Columbian.

Image Source: Photo by Valeria Boltneva | Pexels
Remote workers have been scheduling midday hairstyling and other appointments (representative image) | Photo by Valeria Boltneva | Pexels

McCutcheon has observed a gradual shift in the pattern of midweek appointments though. Due to increased expectations from their jobs for in-office work, some frequent clients are now making reservations on Saturdays. Customers and business owners were questioned by The Philadelphia Inquirer about how working remotely has changed their schedules. Residential areas' salons, spas, and fitness centers reported a rise in business during typical work hours. During the day, consumers are opting for shorter services like quick eyebrow waxes or brief exercise classes during lunch breaks. Some are comfortable scheduling hair appointments during work hours, knowing they can still stay connected for work through their phones.

Nonprofit employees in late-20s typically keep their employers in the dark about appointments because they believe they can handle their responsibilities on their own. While they frequently use their phones for business during appointments, they use their laptops to stay artistically engaged during massages. Even when getting her nails done, Alexandra, a remote employee of a Philadelphia-based healthcare company, frequently finds herself multitasking. She kindly requests a callback in 20 minutes from her boss and explains that she is getting her nails done. Although she puts in about 60 hours a week, she feels that her flexibility allows her to do even harder because she values maintaining a balance between work and personal life.

Image Source: Photo by RDNE Stock project | Pexels
Rise in midday appointments amidst return to office wave (representative image) | Photo by RDNE Stock project | Pexels

Similarly, Dorothy Townsend, 35, enjoys breaking up her workday with activities like nail appointments, yoga classes, or running errands. She finds that this flexibility not only benefits her mental health but also allows her to support local businesses. Townsend, who works remotely in sales, feels that this lifestyle adjustment has led to a healthier work routine. If she's had a tough day with work calls, she takes breaks to walk her dog, grab a coffee, and come back refreshed.

Data shows workout classes peak at 5:30 p.m. and salon services at 6 p.m. Before COVID-19, these were earlier in the day. Some businesses like the Underground Luxury Spa saw more lunchtime appointments before but hope for more foot traffic with the return to in-person work.

Weekday afternoons now look different. People work on laptops at places like Burholme Golf, and gym-goers use computers at Royal Fitness. Tuck Barre & Yoga implemented a no-phone policy during classes, but some still get notifications on smartwatches. Businesses adapted to remote work by changing hours and offerings. Skin Devotee Facial Studio no longer offers weekend appointments, and Forever Valentine Beauty closes earlier. However, more in-office work doesn't mean less flexibility. Sara Elwell, working at Comcast's office still schedules lunch appointments. To meet changing needs, some businesses added new class times. Tuck Barre & Yoga now has a 4 p.m. yoga class due to demand.