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More than half of Brits are happy with work life in lockdown

More than half of Brits are happy with work life in lockdown

O2 research published this week shows most people working from home as a result of the impact of Covid-19 has proved to be a success.


If you can work from home you must work from home - was Boris's cry!

The steady spread of the coronavirus pandemic across the world, and into the UK, impacting on all facets of life and all industries, presented one of the biggest obstacles business owners and employers have ever had to face. During this time of fast-moving, daily change, business owners and senior management teams had many questions on how best to protect your business and your people.

As businesses closed many were hastily setting up remote working for the first time. In fact only 30% of UK employees ever worked from home during 2019, according to the latest research by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Two months on and a massive 87% of office workers now find themselves working from home on a regular basis for the first time, according to research conducted by O2. With more than half of Britons (57%) are satisfied with their work lives in lockdown, according to a nationwide poll that reveals we’re learning new skills while working from home.


Why has working from home has been a success during Covid-19 lockdown?

O2 commissioned OnePoll to survey a representative sample of UK employed adults who usually work externally but are currently working from home due to the coronavirus situation. The study showed that while people are enjoying benefits of working from home, with 53% delighted by the lack of the commute and 38% of us finding more time to keep on top of household chores.


Almost a quarter of Britons are working from the bedroom, with gym attire and pyjamas our preferred outfits for the working day:


  • 36% of us are enjoying having more time to ourselves
  • 53% delighted by the lack of commute
  •  34% have started a home exercise programme



  • 39% are frustrated by a lack of suitable home working space
  • 23% finding it challenging to balance work and childcare
  • 48% missing the sense of routine

The research also revealed that despite 48% missing the sense of routine, 36% are enjoying having more time to themselves. This additional time is being spent in a variety of ways: 34% have started a home exercise programme to help make sure they stay fit and healthy; almost a fifth (19%) are finding more time for home baking and a further 16% have started listening to podcasts.


What have been the challenges of working from home?

However, many of us are still encountering challenges when it comes to remote working. Some 39% people cited a lack of suitable working space at home as the biggest challenge, followed by having to juggle work and childcare (27%).


  • Over four in ten (42%) now reside in the living room to work, with just under a quarter (24%) escaping to the bedroom and 22% choosing the kitchen as their new home office space.


  • But even these challenges bring their benefits, with many finding new-found comfort in their work wear: 41% now sport gym clothes as their regular working attire, one third (33%) are opting for a smart causal style and one in eight of us (13%) remain in our pyjamas.


  • While 33% of people miss having face to face meetings, the survey also revealed that many have already learnt new skills to help them keep in touch as an outcome of the social distancing measures, from setting up video calls (26% said working from home meant they’d done this for the first time) to using Google Docs (12%) and cloud storage platforms (11%).


  • Meanwhile, a trip to the fridge has replaced the traditional tea and coffee office break, with 20% of home workers now making ten or more trips back and forth from the fridge every day.


How to make working from home easier

During what can be a challenging time, there are lots of tools and methods that can help make the transition to working remotely easier and more effective. To help more people enjoy the benefits of working from home O2 produced some top tips for those new to homeworking:


Create an ‘office space’ in your home

Try as much as possible to create an office environment in the home, with clear desk space (even if it’s just a clear, temptation-free section of the kitchen table). This applies to your schedule too: try to separate your work life from your home life to be more productive.


Use video calls

Being out of your normal office doesn’t mean you need to miss out on meetings with your teams, colleagues, clients and suppliers. Video conferencing services such as Microsoft Teams and Google Hangout will help you feel more connected, and help get the team spirit going while you’re social distancing.


Stay in touch with colleagues

Instant messaging software, such as Slack or Skype can help you keep in touch with colleagues on a less formal level, and helps declutter your inbox by keeping your emails completely work and action-focused.


Stay secure

Look into protecting your devices with network monitoring to block malicious behaviour, using app analysis to detect known and unknown threats. Keep your devices secured with intelligent threat detection technology that can monitor multiple attacks, contain threats and report incidents.


Turn off the Wi-Fi

Lastly, whilst it’s important for your and your team’s state of mind to keep a constant flow of communication, don’t be afraid to switch off the Wi-Fi completely if you need to focus on an important task.




Return to work timeline

Who should I return to work?

Now we have an idea of the government's phased plan out of lockdown, many businesses are thinking about how to plan for their reopening and just how the new normal would look. People unable to work from home have been given the green light to return to their jobs as part of the Government's gradual plan to get the economy back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown.

Employers that do ask workers to come in have been told to put in place a number of measures to protect them from contracting coronavirus, such as keeping offices well ventilated and staggering shifts.



FREE e-learning course: How to Create a COVID-19 Secure Workplace

Author of this COVID-19 Business Support Hub Article

Stephen Megson, Founder of Love Business and Business Owner

Steve Megson

I'm a keen sailor and experienced in encountering the unknown at sea. With my son, Josh, I sailed my boat to Spain from my home port of Poole, my greatest adventure to date (if you read the blog you'll understand why!). Encountering the unknown is about having a clear goal and making sure you keep focused - no matter what happens.

More About Quiet Storm


Stephen Megson

A business owner since I was 21 –I was one of the 'enterprise allowance'  generation and started my business back in 1987. I've ridden the waves of a few recessions and overcome plenty of unknowns. I understand the pressure of employing people and the emotional rollercoaster times like this put you through. I've been very fortunate in my career to work with many brilliant visionaries. I've learnt much from them, but for those who know me well, know my quest for learning is never satisfied.

I now specialise in behaviour and business process optimisation, so look at how businesses interact with their people, customers and other stakeholders. I then work collaboratively with businesses to drive out waste and optimise their processes. This is largely through some form of digitisation, resulting in web applications and operational software to manage their systems, processes and KPI's.

I'm passionate about business and have a strong sense of community, which is why I started Love Business back in 2012, as I saw the innovative business owners start to thrive whilst other remain in a cycle of self-fulfilling doom as a result of the media channels negative news coverage. This is why Love Business only covers good news, focusses on the positive and looks to share all that's helpful.


How to get in touch with Steve Megson



COVID-19 Business Support Hub

These are challenging times for business and although our ethos is to only shout about good news, we've created COVID-19 Business Support Hub on the Love Business the website to support you with expert tips, advice and ideas from your fellow businesses to help you get through this COVID-19 crisis. 

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