With news of an expected three week lockdown extension, a new national survey of 2,000 people into the experience of home working shows that 37% are finding it more and more difficult to work from home, but are prepared to carry on. The survey commissioned by Moneypenny, the leading outsourced communications company, showed that a further 6% said they don’t feel they can work from home any longer, while 52% said they have got used to home working and won’t mind a longer lockdown.
Workloads seem to be reducing for some, as after more than three weeks in lockdown 24% of respondents said they feel like work is drying up, while 17% say they spend fewer hours on work each week compared with pre-lockdown times and admit to feeling guilty about this. However, 12% said they are actually spending more hours working than they would in the office.
Working at home also seems to have reduced communication with work colleagues for most, as 72% of those surveyed admitted they don’t speak to anyone from work for a full day and of these, almost a third (32%) said this lack of dialogue goes on for more than a day.
Lockdown seems to have blurred the boundaries between work and free time, as 73% said they are answering calls and emails after working hours. However, far from working in their pyjamas, 19% said they dress up properly to feel like they are going to work. In terms of getting ready for work, 42% said they get up about an hour before their work starts, 17% get up about 30 minutes before work and 5% get up around 10 minutes or less before work.
The experience of working from home has not be aided by many companies, as more than half (53%) of those surveyed said their company didn’t provide anything to help them set up their home office and only 16% said they received vouchers or cash to buy what they need for this. Only 13% already had a home office set up at home, while 24% are using their living room as a home office, 15% the dining room and 12% their bedroom.
Commenting on the survey findings, Joanna Swash CEO of Moneypenny said: ‘It’s clear that many companies are relying on their staff having a full home office to enable them to work from home and companies should be auditing the facilities their staff need and providing them. We also have research that shows that 1 in 10 UK business are still sending staff into the office to answer phone calls which is not necessary when there are so many tech solutions available that don’t cost a fortune and can help provide efficient communications.’