How Covid is impacting Brits’ relationships with their homes

Despite many working from home since March, over a fifth of Brits still remain unhappy with their home working setup ..

With England still under lockdown and with Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland already all facing severe restrictions, a survey of over 2,000 people conducted by Zoopla, the UK’s most comprehensive property destination, has revealed how Covid is impacting Brits’ relationships with their homes.

Working from home poses challenges for many

Despite many Brits working from home for well over six months now, one in five are still not happy with their working from home setup. With only 23% enjoying the luxury of a study or home office, 18% say they’re working in their living room, while 14% are working in their bedroom.

When it comes to the challenges of working from home, a lack of space is at the forefront for almost a fifth (18%) of Brits, with many forced to share their workspace with a spouse, family member, or housemate. A lack of human interaction and a sense of community came in second place (13%), while in third place was the lack of privacy for calls and virtual meetings (8%).

Interestingly, rather than making changes, it appears many Brits have decided to make do with what they have when it comes to working from home. Only 29% of Brits say they spent money refining their work from home setup, such as buying a new desk, office chair, screen, or upgrading their wifi package, and only 14% of respondents say their employer covered the cost. Almost a third (29%) believe the biggest perk of working from home is avoiding the hassle and exhaustion of commuting and an additional 12% say it’s the cost savings associated with not commuting.

A DIY state of mind

With England settling into another four weeks of lockdown, home improvements yet again take centre stage. Upgrading interior decoration is the next home improvement most Brits plan to make (32%), while garden landscaping (15%) kitchen renovations (12%) came in second and third place.

With working from home now becoming an established norm, DIY jobs that might make this more comfortable also featured on the list, although surprisingly, not higher up. Creating an office was chosen by only 9% of respondents and upgrading wifi or phone connectivity was chosen by 7% of Brits. Naturally, more costly home improvements are less of a priority for many. Only 5% say their next DIY project will be a loft conversion, while an extension was chosen by 9%.

Attitudes shift towards open plan living

Lockdown has also led to a noticeable shift in attitudes towards open plan living, which had grown in popularity in recent years, with 28% of Brits changing their opinion. 11% say they don’t think open living is practical in the ‘new normal’, while 17% say they now prefer the idea of open plan living and 33% say they never thought it was a good idea in the first place.

Tom Parker, Consumer Spokesperson at Zoopla comments: “As England starts another four weeks of lockdown, having a home fit for the changes in our lifestyle has never been so important, particularly as many of us work from home. For those of us not considering moving home, there’s always scope to improve your current living space, be this painting a room to add a different feel, zoning a space to create a space for home working, or using lockdown as an excuse to finally spruce up your garden.”

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