How Covid changed Britain: WFH is STILL on the rise as people spend more time gardening, doing DIY and watching TV – but we are not sleeping as much as in the first lockdown
- Time study shows that many habits have lingered from the first Covid lockdown
- Britons are still spending more time gardening, doing DIY and watching TV
- But the extra time sleeping that emerged in the spring has now been reversed
The ‘new normal’ for Britons under coronavirus was laid bare today – with working from home still on the rise despite restrictions being loosened.
A report on people’s daily activities found that many of the habits forged in the first national lockdown have lingered.
Although it has dropped slightly since March and April, significantly more time is still being spent gardening, doing DIY and watching TV, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The culture of working from home looks to be becoming more entrenched, taking up an average of 73 minutes a day in September and October. That compares to 55 minutes in the initial lockdown, and just 15 minutes five years ago.
People are still spending marginally less time on personal grooming and meals than before the crisis – perhaps reflecting that they are not going out as much.
However, the spike in sleep that was seen in the spring – with Britons spending 18 minutes more a day napping or resting – has been reversed.
An ONS report on people’s daily activities found that many of the habits forged in the first national lockdown have lingered
In March and April the average was nine hours and 11 minutes asleep or resting.
But by September-October the figure had dropped back to eight hours 53 minutes.
The ONS time study asked people to record what they were doing daily.
Gardening and DIY rose 143 per cent in the first lockdown to 39 minutes, having been just 16 minutes in the reference year of 2014-2015.
And the figure remained higher in the more recent period, at 28 minutes.
Time spent on entertainment, such as watching TV or streaming services, saw a sharp increase in the spring.
Although the trend partly subsided by the autumn and people were spending more time socialising, it has not fallen off completely.
Eating drinking and personal grooming was less dominant in the March lockdown, falling from the previous levels of 146 minutes to 133 minutes.
It went back up to 138 minutes in Speptember-October – still not quite at normal levels.
And there is evidence that people are trying to be more active during the pandemic.
An average of 23 minutes a day was spent on keeping fit in the spring, compared to 19 minutes in the reference year of 2014-15.
And that rose again to 25 minutes in the autumn months.
Time spent on entertainment, such as watching TV or streaming services, saw a sharp increase in the spring – but the trend subsided slightly in the autumn