45% say their relationship with the people they live with is stronger since working at home together

 From living together to “colleague” – how have we found the transition? 

For many this year, workers in the same household have been plunged into working at home together. This took relationships from living together  – and added “colleague” of sorts into the mix too. Perkbox surveyed 1,008 employed adults to find out how the UK has found the experience of working alongside the people they live with.

The study found that this time being at home together has actually strengthened relationships – with 45% of employees stating that their relationship with the people they live with has become stronger during their time working at home together. 51% say that their relationship is the same as before, with just 4% feeling that their relationship is now not as strong.

60% of those working from home together have enjoyed spending more time together and a quarter have enjoyed getting to know more about what the people they live with do on a daily basis – helping to give those conversations about work over dinner a little more context.

This new situation also led to home workers enjoying the treat of hearing the ones they live with in ‘professional mode’ (18%) and getting to know their housemate’s/friend’s/partner’s colleagues more through hearing calls (7%).

Despite this experience bringing people closer together, this extra time in each other’s company has also led to employees noticing some bad habits forming in their new ‘colleagues’. 22% of employees say that the worst habit of those they work from home with is ‘distracting me while I work’, followed by ‘making noise when I’m on a call’ (20%). It also seems like the lack of boundaries in remote working is affecting more than just the person overstepping them. ‘Working late into the evening’ is another common trait that remote workers dislike about their new work from home partner (17%).

A further 9% say that they have to creep around their housemates as they don’t like any noise, while the same amount have noticed those they live with to have the bad habit of waking up too late. Bad habits also include working in pyjamas all day (6%) and not showering (4%).

This time together has also led to new revelations. Almost a quarter (23%) said that the person they live with had been ‘hiding how hard they work’, and that this had come to light during this time.

1 in 5 said they learnt how easily distracted their work from home partner is, while 13% have hidden how professional they are. Interestingly, more than 1 in 10 (12%) also stated that the person they are living and working with has an ‘unusual working routine’.

Remote workers have even started to notice the little things that we somehow missed before. 10% said they learnt that the person they live with is a loud typer, they talk to themselves at work (9%), they use a lot of jargon (7%) and they’re more outspoken at work than they are at home (6%).

But there are solutions to any difficulties. The most popular solutions to a happy work from home include ‘making it known ahead of time if you need quiet’, with 56% relying on this method to keep the peace.

This is followed by 48% who like to block out the noise and have found headphones to be the answer to all those pesky distractions. Other solutions found include syncing up lunchtimes (38%), communicating which space someone is going to use (26%), creating a schedule of when you are going to need the room (8%) and finally, for those who like to ensure zero distractions, 8% have found the solution to be ‘don’t talk throughout the day’.

Overall, despite this being a hard year, thankfully many have been able to find the positives within their time working from home.  Almost 6 in 10 (58%) have either extremely enjoyed or enjoyed their time working from home during 2020.

What’s the worst habit of the person you’re working from home with?

(select as many as apply)

  1. Distracting me while I work – 22%
  2. Making noise while I’m on a call – 20%
  3. Speaking loudly on their calls – 20%
  4. Working late into the evening – 17%
  5. Not wanting any noise – 9%
  6. Waking up too late – 9%
  7. Talking too much – 9%
  8. Taking up a lot of space – 9%
  9. Wants the temperature at home to be too cold – 6%
  10. Working in pyjamas all day – 6%
  11. Wants the temperature to be too hot – 5%
  12. Not showering – 4%
  13. Playing music – 4%

What, if anything, have you learned about the person/people you’re working at home with during this time?

(select as many as apply)

  1. They work much harder than they say they do – 23%
  2. They’re distracted easily – 20%
  3. They’ve hidden how professional they are – 13%
  4. They have an unusual working routine – 12%
  5. They’re a loud typer – 10%
  6. They talk to themselves when they work – 9%
  7. They use a lot of jargon – 7%
  8. They are more outspoken at work than they are at home – 6%
  9. Nothing – 23%


Written by Perkbox


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