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Quarter of home-workers doing their job from bed, but two thirds say they’re equally or more productive than usual

  • A quarter of home-workers — more than four million employees — are doing their job from bed or in their nightwear, and 40% have toiled from the sofa****

  • Two thirds of workers say they are just as productive or even more so****, but nearly half find it hard to juggle working with home-schooling their kids****

  • More than half say working from home has improved their quality of life****, with two fifths exercising more and a third eating more healthily****

  • Six in ten have struggled with their broadband or mobile signal in lockdown, with one in ten home-workers having to lean out of a window to make a call****

  • Nearly one in five Brits admit to putting work calls on mute to chat with someone else, and one in ten have even silenced a call to watch TV****

  • Uswitch.com offers tips for good working habits and how to get the best performance out of your broadband and boost your mobile signal.

A quarter of home-workers (25%) admit to doing their job from bed during lockdown, but more than two thirds (70%) say they are at least as productive as they are usually, according to new research from Uswitch.com, the comparison and switching service.

About 18.5 million employees — almost three fifths (57%) of the country’s workforce — have worked from home since lockdown started.

Over half of home-workers (56%) say it has improved their quality of life, with three fifths (61%) enjoying spending more time with their family, two fifths (39%) exercising more, and a third (34%) eating more healthily.

Given the improved quality of life many are feeling, it is unsurprising that almost half of employees (46%) say they prefer working from home. However, it isn’t plain sailing for all, with half (48%) of working parents finding it difficult to juggle their job and home-schooling their children.

Many home-workers are having difficulties with internet connectivity, with nearly two thirds (61%) reporting issues with their broadband or mobile signal. One in five (21%) have endured slow broadband, one in ten (11%) move rooms to get a better signal, and some (8%) have even resorted to leaning out of a window to make a call.

Despite a quarter of employees (28%) claiming to be more productive at home, some are succumbing to distractions while on work calls. One in five (18%) have muted a call to have a conversation with someone else, a tenth (9%) have done the housework, and one in ten (8%) have put work colleagues on mute to watch TV. Although the most popular activity is making a cup of tea, with a quarter (26%) admitting to doing so.

Video calls have become a regular part of the working day during lockdown, with three quarters of home-workers taking part in them. Four in ten home-workers (41%) admit to making more of an effort with their appearance before a video call, while a fifth (18%) have taken part in a video while secretly still in their nightwear. While 15% of people have even pretended that their Wi-Fi connection was too poor to avoid turning on their camera.

Table 1 –  where employees are working at home

Source: Uswitch.com

Uswitch.com is offering home-workers tips and tricks to making the most of their broadband with their guide to keeping your connection running smoothly. Some households will find they can speed up a sluggish connection by limiting the number of devices connecting to the internet, while others might benefit from a Wi-Fi booster.

Nick Baker, broadband expert at Uswitch.com, comments: “Working from home is proving a positive experience for a lot of people, with a majority of employees saying it has improved their quality of life.

“We are all making the best of the unusual situation, and many of us are working from beds, sofas and dining tables as we try to make our jobs fit around our household routines.

“However, keeping connected is proving more important than ever before, and almost two thirds of us have struggled with our broadband or mobile signal as we try to adapt to our new way of working.

“At this difficult time, having reliable broadband is vital, but there are few tips like reducing the number of devices online at one time which can help you get the most out of your connection.”

Find out how you could save nearly £1,000 a year with Uswitch here.


Rory Stoves
Phone: 020 3872 5613
Email: rory.stoves@uswitch.com
Twitter: @UswitchPR

Notes to editors

  1. Opinium surveyed a sample of 2,004 UK adults from the 15th to 18th May 2020. Results were weighted to reflect a nationally representative criteria. Respondents were asked ‘Thinking about your behaviour when you are working from home, which, if any, of the following have you done?’ See Table 1 for results.

  2. Respondents were asked ‘Would you say you are more or less productive working from home, then you are at your usual workplace?’ 28% said ‘more productive’. 42% said ‘equally productive’. 30% said ‘less productive’. Net equally or more productive = 70%.

  3. Respondents were asked ‘How far do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?’ 61% agreed with the statement ‘I have enjoyed spending more time with my children/family/partner while working from home’. 48% agreed with the statement ‘I am struggling to manage working from home and home schooling my children’. 46% agreed with the statement ‘I prefer working from home then working in my usual workplace’. 56% agreed with the statement ‘Working from home has improved my quality of life’.

  4. Respondents were asked ‘Have you been doing any of the following more or less since you have been working from home?’ 34% agreed with the statement ‘I have been eating more healthily’. 39% agreed with the statement ‘I have been exercising more’.

  5. Respondents were asked ‘Have you done any of the following while making a work phone call?’ 26% said I have made a cup of tea/coffee. 18% said I have put the call on mute, and had a conversation with someone else. 8% said I have put the call on mute and watched television or a film.

  6. Respondents were asked ‘Thinking about your broadband and mobile phone signal, which of the following applies to you?’ 61% had suffered one of the issues listed. 21% said they had had slow broadband while working from home. 11% said they have to move to a different room to the one I normally work in in order to get a good mobile phone signal. 8% said they have had to lean out of my window to get a better mobile phone signal

  7. Respondents were asked ‘During lockdown, have you been working from home?’ 709 out of 1253 workers replied ‘Yes’. 709 out of 1253 = 57%. 52.4 million UK adults x 709 / 2004 = 18.5 million people working from home.

  8. Respondents were asked ‘Have you had to do any video-calling as part of your job while working from home?’ 76% said yes.

  9. Respondents were asked ‘Have you done any of the following on your work video calls?’ 41% said they made an effort to look more presentable before I had a video call. 18% said they have done a video call looking professional on video, but secretly also wearing pyjama trousers / just my underwear. 15% said they had pretended my signal was poor to avoid having to turn on my video.

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