In 2020, nearly 50% of all people worked from home, with 86% doing so due to the pandemic, according to ONS figures. Because of this, the lines between our work and private lives have been completely blurred, and the result is we’ve become much more accepting. But why and how has this happened?
People have been working from their personal spaces
Dogs barking, babies crying, laundry rumbling – throughout the past 18 months, video calls have become portals into and between our homes. And the result is that we have become much more accepting of each other and the decidedly human situations we’ve found ourselves and our colleagues in.
With no return to the office in sight for many, our homes became our offices. Banner specialists instantprint wanted to understand how people were working from home. They surveyed 2,000 UK workers in 2020, and found that 44% of people worked in the living room, 20% in the bedroom, 17% in the kitchen, 17% in the hallway, and only 17% within a proper home office.
Seeing these figures, it’s understandable that we now care less about seeing a bed or family member in the background than we would have done before COVID-19 struck.
Our lives have played out in the background
While the ability to blur backgrounds and mute our mics has allowed us to generally keep a handle on our homes and try and transform them into impromptu offices, it has been impossible to replicate the meeting environment at home.
That’s because our lives have been going on around us while we’ve been working. As well as home schooling our children (often centimetres out of shot), we have had to contend with attention-seeking animals, workmen, noisy neighbours, and all the other bits and bobs of our private lives that usually fly under the radar.
As a result, we’ve realised that yes, everyone does deal with the same trials and tribulations as we do. Instead of getting annoyed when a colleague’s child was noisy, we are much more understanding – after all, it happened to us the day before!
How has this changed our long-term behaviours?
With the world returning to normal, this increased understanding is likely to continue. According to Leadership and Talent expert Jill Dark, the ways in which we have experienced working during the pandemic, and the ways we’ve experimented in making things work, will change our approach to work and improve our emotional wellbeing.
That means that even as we return to the office and leave our kitchens and bedrooms behind, we should see a much greater level of acceptance. In our eyes, that’s a mighty benefit from what has been a trying time for all.