August/September 2020 (vol. 17/2)

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Wellbeing under lockdown

Results of a survey of British homeworkers


Zofia Bajorek, Bethany Mason and Stephen Bevan present the results of an Institute for Employment Studies survey on homeworking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Until the point when the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic ‘lockdown’ in the UK was announced on 23 March 2020, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) estimated that just 12% of working adults worked regularly or sometimes at home. Only a month later, this proportion had reached 44%, representing the most extensive and rapid shift in working patterns since 1939. So began a nationwide experiment in homeworking at scale, with millions of UK workers compelled to work at home and, at the same time, adjust to using a variety of unfamiliar communication platforms, balance working and parenting/home schooling, eldercare, greater isolation and the need to remain productive and agile as a looming recession began to bite. Aside from the logistical and operational challenges posed by the ‘lockdown’ this combination of uncertainty and change represented a potential risk to several aspects of physical and emotional wellbeing in this group of workers. It also represented an opportunity to study how wellbeing under ‘lockdown’ was being affected in real time…


Zofia Bajorek is a research fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies.

Bethany Mason is a research officer at the Institute for Employment Studies.

Stephen Bevan is the head of human resources research development at the Institute for Employment Studies.

Author: Bajorek Z, Mason B, Bevan S


Occupational Health at Work August/September 2020 (vol. 17/2) pp29-34

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