Work days shortened by 63 minutes means people are having to work smarter 

With UK businesses facing challenges across many sectors and unemployment expected to hit 12 million, the nation’s workers are battling to stay productive in this new world of working from home. 

Being locked down presents its own challenges and for those in employment, the working world has been turned upside down as people struggle to juggle unread emails and endless conference calls with household chores and, in some cases, home-schooling their kids.

Due to these unprecedented changes, staff are starting work later and taking more breaks, according to a new survey conducted on behalf of the leading channels-based messaging platform Slack. UK workers are on average clocking in 48 minutes later than usual at 9.30am and 36% are taking more breaks than they do in the office. The nine to five mentality is becoming a thing of the past as employees adjust their working hours to suit their lives – something which businesses must accept, and workers should not apologise for.

In addition to later starts and more interruptions to the working day, some are taking advantage of working only a stone’s throw from our beds as we have a lie-in and sleep through our commutes, waking up at 8.03am – a full 67 minutes later than the usual 6.55am time the UK rises on average during the working week.

Many people having to learn to adjust their working lives, alongside personal priorities, are struggling with 55% of UK workers feeling less productive and motivated working from home.

With 25% of us admitting to feeling more lonely since working from home during lockdown, communication among teams is more important than ever, playing a key role to ensure teams stay connected and work as efficiently and collaboratively as possible given the current circumstances. For example, while 84% of the workforce believe communications with colleagues have been affected since the lockdown, almost a third of them (32%) still find it easy to communicate with teams, demonstrating optimism in the way we work.

Many of us give in to temptation when at home too, with 1 in 4 sitting on the sofa to work and 26% similarly having either the TV or radio on in the background. However, almost four in ten (39%) of us work from a desk.

Our appearance has also taken a hit with 34% admitting they don’t make as much effort to get washed and dressed as when we are going to the office, 32% wearing loungewear all day and 6% revealing they only get dressed from the waist-up.

So what impact will these changes have on the economy, our mental health, and how we approach work in the future — when things return to normal?