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Reluctant to return

Millions want to stick with lockdown lifestyle changes

The COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly difficult for everyone and made a huge impact on the lives, personal finances and jobs of millions of people. The restrictions introduced during the pandemic were forced on the nation and it was assumed that once they ended, people would quickly return to their lifestyles before lockdown.

However, new research[1] has highlighted how the pandemic has caused millions of people to re-evaluate their priorities, and now many want to keep the changes that they were forced to adopt. Working from home, for example, was something that before the pandemic was done perhaps once or twice a week, if at all.

Close bonds of family and friendships

But for many, it has now become common practice and they are now reluctant to return to their commuting lifestyle. Similarly, many people appreciate the convenience of remote parents’ evenings, financial advice and doctors’ appointments and want to continue doing these remotely.

The pandemic, lockdown and accompanying upheaval in our lives have made people appreciate the importance of close bonds of family and friendships and many want the changes introduced during lockdown to continue to give them more time to spend with the people that are important to them.

21m say life after lockdown has made them more focused on their family. 18m say they want to continue working from home. 41% (21m) of those with a family say they have become more focused on their family compared to before the pandemic. 38% (15m) of workers have become more focused on work-life balance. 32% (16m) have become more focused on hobbies and interests and 45% (23m) are more focused on their health.

Increased activities

Many activities that increased during the pandemic – such as working from home, online shopping and remote parents’ evenings – people want to continue. A significant proportion want to stick with changes – such as remote GP appointments – that were forced upon them by the pandemic.

The research looked at activities that increased during the pandemic and found:

91% (32m) of those that exercised more during the pandemic want to continue this. 79% (18m) of those that worked from home during the pandemic want to continue working from home. 76% (23m) of those who did online grocery shopping want to continue. 68% (9m) of those that were able to do the school run more during the pandemic want to continue doing it. 65% (12m) who received remote financial advice want to continue doing so. 58% (10m) of parents that did remote parents’ evenings (conducted by zoom or phone) want to continue them. 44% (17m) of those that did remote GP appointments want to continue them. Wealthier households are faring best.

Elements of life

When people were asked what elements of their life have improved or worsened compared to before the pandemic. UK adults are generally more likely to say their finances, fitness and stress levels have deteriorated compared to before the pandemic.

However, some 27% of workers said their work-life balance is better now than before the pandemic, compared to 12% who say it is worse.

Better work-life balance

The mass affluent group – those with assets of between £100,000 and £400,000 excluding housing – appear to have fared better than the general population. 25% said their fitness was better than before the pandemic compared to 18% of the general population.

27% said their relationship with their partner was better compared to 21% of the general population who had a partner. And 32% of employed mass affluent said their work-life balance was better, slightly higher than the overall working population (27%)

Source data:

[1] Research from LV= Wealth and Wellbeing Monitor – a quarterly survey of 4,000 UK adults – reveals the COVID pandemic, lockdowns and ending of COVID restrictions has changed people’s attitudes to work and family life.


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