Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For November 25, 2020

Percentage of shoppers who are going into holiday shopping with some idea of what they want to buy, according to research by Tophatter Inc.: 43

Percentage who make a detailed list and stick to it: 16

When asked what gift categories they plan to buy the most of this year, percentage of respondents who cited toys and video games "because they're what all the kids in my life love most": 23

Percentage who say gift cards or cash "because it's easy and always welcome": 20

Source: Tophatter Inc.

Percentage of full-time employees who will not travel out of state over the holidays, according to research from the human capital management company iSolved, detailing the plans and priorities of employees this holiday season: 70

Percentage of staff who will be taking less paid time off this holiday season than ever before: 38

Percentage of employees who want a bonus most from their employer to end the year: 37

Source: iSolved.

Percentage of Americans who either have or are considering opting out of in-person holiday parties this year, according to a survey by Omaha Steaks: 63

Percentage who are contemplating a Zoom holiday instead: 36

Source: Omaha Steaks

Percentage of Americans who say they will spend the same amount of money this holiday season as last year, according to a survey by 5w Public Relations: 53

Percentage who say they would be spending less: 29

Percentage who plan to spend more: 18

Source: 5W Public Relations.

Percentage of mortgage holders who don't know their interest rate, according to a survey from Bankrate: 27

Percentage who have not refinanced this year despite record low rates: 80

Percentage of mortgage borrowers who have a rate of 4% or more, making them likely candidates to refinance at lower rates: 33

Source: Bankrate.com.

Percentage of full-time office employees who say they aren't sad to see office parties go, according to a survey by Molson Coors Beverage Co.: 50

Percentage who would choose time off from work over a holiday party: 70

Source: Molson Coors Beverage Co.

Percentage of shoppers who said out-of-stock merchandise topped their list for a bad shopping experience, according to an Oracle retail survey: 47

Percentage who said they weren't willing to wait for an item to be back in stock before trying another brand: 63

While in-store shopping, percentage who said it was important to see staff and other customers wearing masks: 79

Percentage who said it was important to see visible cleaning efforts: 82

Percentage who noted contactless checkout was important: 66

Source: Oracle.

Percentage of office workers in the U.S. who are OK with wearing a mask in the office, of which 51% said they will wear one as long as is necessary, according to a survey by VoiceNation: 81

Percentage who said they would find it too much to wear a mask all day: 15

Percentage who said they don't mind wearing a mask at work in the short term, but would be less happy if the policy was for the long term: 16

Source: VoiceNation,

Ranks of companionship, reduced stress or anxiety, reduced boredom and monotony, and reduced depression on the list of important benefits of having a pet during COVID-19, according to a report released by Mars Petcare: 1, 2, 3, 4

Percentage of pet owners who welcomed a new pet this year, with more than half doing so for companionship (58%): 30

Rank of spending more time with pets -- ahead of increased flexibility (46%), cost savings from lack of commute (47%) and more time with family (36%) -- as the primary benefit of working from home: 1

Percentage of pet owners who say they worry about the anxiety they may suffer once they have to return to work without their pet: 75

Source: Mars Petcare U.S.

Percentage of employees who have returned to working in offices who say they weren't given a choice, as their company made doing so mandatory, according to a survey by Lives Over Leases, a global movement to protect the health and safety of office building tenants and employees: 63

Percentage of all full-time employees who would like their employer to ensure regular and professional deep cleanings of office and building spaces to increase safety: 63

Percentage who would like limits on the number of people in the office at one time: 58.4

Source: Lives Over Leases.

Idle Thought

"It is not what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable." -- Moliere, actor and playwright (1622-1673)

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre@bwr.eastlink.ca.)