United Kingdom

More than a third of Britons would rather work from home than return to the office full-time

One third of British people would rather work from home for the majority of the week once the coronavirus pandemic is over, a survey revealed.  

Sixty per cent of those contacted said they would return to work immediately if given the option, with 35 per cent saying they would rather work from home three to four days a week.

Lockdown is altering the behaviour of Britons in ways that could significantly change life in the country, according to the survey of 1,500 people by investment bank Jefferies.

The study found that restrictions have caused an increase in DIY, indoor hobbies and online gaming, The Times reported. 

And 21 per cent of people said they would not visit restaurants and pubs, even if they had implemented social distancing policies.

35 per cent of respondents said they would rather work from home three to four days a week (stock image) 

'This points to a slow pace of recovery in the on-trade in the new normal world,' Jefferies analysts said.

Working from home increases productivity, survey finds

Employers may be concerned about productivity now millions are working remotely due to the coronavirus.

But a survey found business may be thriving since the change.

Researchers asked over 1,600 individuals how they have adapted to working at home.

One-third said they are more productive than when in the office.

Respondents noted they now have better control of their time and how much work is completed. 

On the other hand, those who feel isolated or rely on others to do their tasks reported being less productive.

The analysis was based on data from more than 1,600 respondents to an online questionnaire.

It was made up of 75 per cent women and 25 per cent men who were mostly from Quebec in Canada.

The main requirements for Britons to return to those venues were two-metre distancing and a vaccine. 

Half of those contacted said they would dine out less than they did before lockdown was brought in.

Hotels also came under suspicion, with 75 per cent of respondents saying they would wait at least three months after lockdown to use their services again.  

Going abroad was the main priority for discretionary spending once the pandemic ended, with 23 per cent saying they were looking forward to a trip, but 41 per cent said they were planning to take fewer holidays than before. 

The lockdown has spurred an increase in Britons playing video games - and people spending money on in-game purchases.

More than half of men, students, the full-time employed and under-55s said they were playing more video games and spending more money on them. 

It comes as a separate survey revealed more than a quarter of Britons have turned to drink during the long weeks of lockdown.

Twenty-seven per cent of adults have been downing more alcohol since March 23 – totalling more than 14million people.

More than 260,000 have fallen into the habit of drinking in the morning.

The survey said the increase in alcohol consumption works out at 12.6 units a week during the daytime for an average person – plus another 14.6 units in the evening.

The extra drink is equivalent to two pints of beer or four small glasses of wine each day. The report also pointed to a country that is becoming fatter under quarantine.

Nearly a third of the population – 31 per cent – is taking in more calories a day now than they did in mid-March.

On average, the extra consumption amounts to 671 calories a day – more than a third of the recommended daily calories for a woman and over a quarter of those for a man.

Sixty per cent of those contacted said they would return to work immediately if given the option (stock image)

The survey suggested that 14million are snacking routinely, while 10million have increased the amount of unhealthy food they eat. More than four million are ordering more takeaways while they are shut out of pubs and restaurants.

The increase in drinking has appeared alongside more sleep as hangovers have gone uninterrupted by the need to get up and go to work. Four out of ten people say they have been sleeping more since late March – on average by four hours and 22 minutes a week.

There has also been an increase in Britons intending to leave alcohol alone once lockdown is over. A high proportion promises to cut down on drinking, unhealthy eating and takeaways – and do more exercise.

The survey, for Direct Line Life Insurance, was carried out by Opinium among 2,000 people in late April. Chloe Cooper, of Direct Line, said: ‘Lockdown has been extremely challenging for many people, with most facing radical changes to their work and home life.

‘Although it can be easy to go to the kitchen and grab an unhealthy snack or pour an alcoholic drink, it is important to remember the importance of a balanced lifestyle.

‘In such an uncertain time, where health and wellness is at the front of everyone’s mind, looking after yourself and your family is crucial.’

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