Working life today - short lunch breaks feature but so do day naps

By Sally Burton
Monday, 21st March 2022, 9:44 am
Updated Monday, 21st March 2022, 9:46 am

It's a changed world post-pandemic, and the average working day now looks very different to what it was two years ago, it seems.

New research has revealed how an average working day looks, 24 months after the Government announced those who could work from home, should.

According to the study, we are in a new era of balance, with the average Brit spending three days a week working in the office, and two days working remotely.

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More than half describe their work/life balance as “much better” than it was two years ago, with a third preferring a more hybrid approach to work.

Almost half (45 per cent) think their relationships with colleagues and clients have greatly improved since working arrangements changed.

Suits and ties have been cast aside for comfort clothes such as joggers and sweat shirts, as four in ten workers have adopted a more relaxed approach to dressing for work.

Almost a quarter (23 per cent) say that they see the suit and tie as old fashioned and outdated.

The lunch hour is also a thing of the past for modern Brits, with 34 minutes emerging as the average time we step away from our desks during a typical working day.

On average we will get through two cups of tea or coffee, scroll through social media at least eight times, and chat to friends via WhatsApp eight times daily, the research reveals.

Despite looking at online shopping sites twice a day and sharing three funny memes with friends or colleagues, on average we participate in 48 minutes of calls with colleagues, clients or suppliers, spend 38 minutes sending work WhatsApps, and join up to three Zoom calls or Team meetings daily.

When it comes to our work from home days, Brits also help themselves to four snacks a day.

And employers look away, as on work from home days, some employees enjoy three naps a week, indulge in boxset binging four times a week, and take time to play with their pets just under 10 times a week.

Employment rights explained:

When it comes to where we’re working when at home, although a quarter of us have a pre-existing office space to work from, 26 per cent of Brits sit at the kitchen table, a fifth (21 percent) take a seat on the sofa, and one in ten (11 percent) admit to working from whichever area of the house happens to have the best broadband connection.

Since the pandemic, the working day is starting 10 minutes earlier, with the average Briton now starting work at 8:20am, compared to 8:30am pre-pandemic.

And on average, the 1,500 working Britons polled now finish slightly later, at 5.40pm, compared to 5.30pm two years ago.

When it comes to what we most enjoy about hybrid working, 47 per cent say they love not having to commute into the office every day, 40 per cent love the luxury of being able to wear PJs, leggings and joggers, while four in ten (41 percent) like the positive effect is has on their bank balance, spending less money over all.

Interestingly, being close to your own bathroom is a big advantage for one in three (33 percent) Brits when working from home.

Amber Pine, managing director of Sky Broadband who conducted the study, said: “With many of us now spending part of our week working from home, just as good coffee and reliable tech are essential WFH companions for many of us, a strong WiFi connection in every room is more important than ever."

Ellie Taylor, comedian, acrtress and writer said: I, like many was thrown into an unknown world of WFH in lockdown trying to juggle between writing on my laptop, replying to relentless work emails, avoiding toddler tantrums with screen time, and indulging in some sanity-saving sessioning of Game of Thrones.

"Like the research from Sky Broadband reveals, having a reliable WiFi connection was a saviour in our household – for work and play – and the pandemic reinforced that.”

With the rise in working from home during the last two years, 64 per cent have invested in upgrading their work from home space, as 21 percent have purchased a new laptop or computer, 19 per cent have splashed out on new furniture, 16 per cent treat themselves to snazzy new stationery and 13 per  cent on upgrading the broadband.