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Gloucestershire Business News

Home workers set up office in bed

A quarter of people working from home (25 per cent) say they have been doing their job from bed during lockdown, according to new research.

The same percentage of people have, unsurprisingly, been working in their nightwear. The most popular place to work is the dinner table - for 45 per cent of people, closely followed by the sofa for 40 per cent. Six per cent of people even admit to working on the toilet.

But more than two thirds (70 per cent) say they are at least as productive as they usually are, according to the research from Uswitch.com .

About 18.5 million employees — almost three fifths (57 per cent) of the country's workforce — have worked from home since lockdown started. Over half of them (56 per cent) say it has improved their quality of life, with more than six out of 10 (61 per cent) enjoying spending more time with their family, two fifths (39 per cent) exercising more, and a third (34 per cent) eating more healthily.

Given the improved quality of life many are feeling, it is unsurprising that almost half of employees (46 per cent) say they prefer working from home. But it isn't plain sailing for everyone, with half (48 per cent) 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 per cent) reporting issues with their broadband or mobile signal. One in five (21 per cent) have endured slow broadband, one in 10 (11 per cent) move rooms to get a better signal, and eight per cent of people have resorted to leaning out of a window to make a call.

Despite a quarter of employees (28 per cent) claiming to be more productive at home, some are succumbing to distractions while on work calls. One in five (18 per cent) have muted a call to have a conversation with someone else, a tenth (nine per cent) have done the housework, and nearly one in 10 (eight per cent) have put work colleagues on mute to watch TV! The most popular activity is making a cup of tea, with a quarter (26 per cent) 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 10 (41 per cent) admit to making more of an effort with their appearance before a video call, while a fifth (18 per cent) have taken part in a video while secretly still in their nightwear.

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."

Punchline said: "Working from your bed doesn't seem like the most productive way to work, but everyone has to do what suits them. Like so many others, the team here has been working from home since lockdown started. Statistically one of us should be working from our beds, but nobody has owned up to it yet!"

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