This Is How People Are Really Working From Home During The Pandemic

Photographed by Kate Anglestein
For many of us, working from home during the pandemic has been a pretty steep learning curve. Everything from knowing what to wear to finding somewhere comfortable to sit has presented a daily challenge.
It's also affected the way we shape our workdays. According to new research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), people working from home have settled into a slightly different routine from people who still travel to a traditional workplace.
In September 2020, the average working-from-home start time was 10.45am – compared to 9.37am for employees in a traditional workplace. In April 2020, the average working-from-home start time was 10.15am, meaning it was pushed back by 30 minutes in just five months.
However, the ONS also found that people working from home were more likely to be grinding after 6pm. Essentially, working from home during the pandemic appears to have shifted their working day later.
Home workers are also likely to be putting in more unpaid overtime: an average of six hours a week compared to three-and-a-half hours among people in traditional workplaces.
They also take half as many sick days, perhaps because working from home (and avoiding public transport) means they are less likely to be exposed to seasonal infections.
According to the ONS, people working mainly from home were "less than half as likely" than those working mainly in a traditional workplace to have received a promotion. This suggests that old-fashioned face-to-face time with the boss still holds some sway when it comes to climbing the ladder.
Not unexpectedly, London and its surrounding areas have the highest proportion of homeworkers. Some 43% of people living there said they had worked from home at some point in 2020 – up from 31% a year earlier.
By contrast, areas where relatively few people are working from home include Thurrock, Birmingham, Lincolnshire, Blackpool, South Ayrshire, and parts of Northern Ireland.