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New Study: Over half of Brits are happy to work from home for as long as is needed

Working from home - home office

Over half of Brits are happy to work from home and are willing to do it as long as needed, but what kind of routines have people created to get them through? And how are workers ensuring they keep on top of their mental and physical wellbeing during the lockdown?

Here at Moneypenny, we conducted a study of 2,000 workers over the age of 18, all currently working from home during the pandemic. With the lockdown, many non-key workers have been asked to take their work from the office to their homes. For most, it has meant that new routines and schedules have had to be created, with many also having to juggle the stresses of childcare and home schooling.

With the research showing that over half of workers were starting to become accustomed to home office life, we wanted to delve deeper and look at how this new norm was working and what changes people have made in order to cope with the switch.

Finding the right room

Finding the perfect space to work can be easier said than done. Homes are usually filled with favourite possessions and distractions, such as TV’s, games consoles or even comfy beds.

Many would say that the right room is based on personal preference, however, the survey found that just under a quarter of adults prefer to work from their living room. Other areas that have lent themselves to becoming a useful home office are the dining room, with 15% of people saying they prefer the comfort of a table in order to conduct their daily work.

Rooms people are working from home in

Reviewing the most popular spaces, it would appear that many home workers are trying to create an office environment and set up in their homes, to provide a sense of normality. A desk or table is preferred, with comfier seating such as sofas and beds coming in at a close second.

One of the main tips that many working from home offered in the study, was to find a place that will be comfortable to work long hours, with one person saying “Definitely find a comfortable chair so you’re not hunched over a computer, or put your laptop on a higher surface and work standing up”.

Comfort is key, so making sure you have a place to work from that allows you to sit up straight and even stand up when needed, as it will make working from home a lot more pleasant.

Table showing where people are working from within their homes

Create a new routine and stick with it

One thing that 9-5 work offers is a reliable routine. For many, a lack of routine and structure can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety, which can make working from home difficult.

Motivation and productivity have been proven to thrive within structure, so recreating your normal routine at home can be hugely beneficial. One frequent tip from our study was to “keep to your usual work routine. Leave the office area for breaks and lunch. Talk to people every day.”.

When asked what time people usually get up when working from home, the majority, 42%, said it’s about one hour before they start work. 17% get up about 30 minutes before work, 15% about 45 minutes. 6% have a lie-in and get up about 15 minutes before work, some 5% get up less than 10 minutes before work.

15% are early birds and get up more than one hour before work.

Working from home working hours

Around 46% of those surveyed said they made sure to keep their normal lunch hours, however, 28% said they take shorter lunch breaks then they usually would when in the office.

Too many distractions or the added stress of having to look after children, could cause people to overwork.

Over three-quarters of adults said they answer calls and emails after normal working hours, blurring the line between the restful atmosphere of home life and the stress of work.

Furthermore, 12% say they spend more time on work as they don’t commute.

Working from home work habits

The findings also highlighted that 72% of those people who work from home have experienced a day where they did not speak to anyone from work. Of those, almost a half admit to not speaking to for longer than one day.

Setting strict working times, spaces and breaks is essential to a healthy and happy home office environment. “Try to keep a routine and be comfortable. e.g. work your normal hours but still try to get up and work in a different room from where you relax” keeping the home life and work life separate is something many of our survey responders said helped them to find a good balance when working from home.

Look after your mental and physical health

Keeping yourself healthy and happy whilst in lockdown is more important than ever. Working from home can cause anxiety and stress, so ensuring you put your health first is paramount.

When asked about their workout and mental wellbeing habits whilst in isolation, more than half said they try to exercise regularly. However it’s not just the body that needs TLC, the mind is an essential tool, especially when trying to work in a strange environment.

Some people have found meditation to be helpful when trying to keep the mind and body balanced, with 15% stating that they try and do meditation in order to keep grounded, and one person offering advice on the importance of taking care of your wellbeing, “Make sure that you look after your wellbeing and mental health, by taking regular exercise such as a run, some yoga or meditation”.

Working from home habits table

Things like mindfulness and meditation can be a big help when facing a huge change to normal life, taking that time to assess and nurture your mental health can benefit your motivation when doing work and help you to feel more productive.

Over 52% of workers said they were happy to continue to work from home, but with further 37% claiming they are starting to feel the strain and a 6% already struggling, it could be time to take a look at your home working schedule and make some adjustments.

We also asked if companies helped with setting up a home office. Over half of respondents (53%) said that they did not receive any help from their employer.

26% said they were able to take a screen home and were allowed to stock up on any necessary office supplies before starting to work from home. 16% received vouchers or cash to buy all the necessary items.

Our 2,000 respondents gave us their recommendations when it comes to working from home. The most likely tips were to make sure we have a good and comfortable chair, our own space, we focus, have a plan and fresh air. Remember, it is important to stay sane when working from home. 

Working from home tips wordcloud

With the news of a further 3-weeks of lockdown hitting the nation, it is now more important than ever to try and find peace with working from home. Creating a new normal for yourself and taking steps to actively make space in your home for work, can help you to tough out this storm.

If your business needs help transitioning to home working why not get in touch with us to find out about how our telephone answering service could help your business. Or find out how we’re trying to keep businesses talking with our free digital switchboard service.

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