People spent two extra days at home during Covid

With 2020 drawing to a close, many are speculating about when life will return to normal. But experts say Covid-19 has forever changed the world already–including life at home. To understand how the pandemic will impact life at home in the long-term, home appliance maker Whirlpool commissioned a study to understand how lives have changed.

The YouGov online survey of 3,442 adults in the US and UK last month found that more than half of adults (57 per cent) surveyed spend on average an extra 7.5 hours at home each day, equating to over two extra days at home per week. It has created positive shifts in dynamics in households which experts predict could remain for the long-term.

A shift in household responsibilities

  • 11 per cent of those surveyed are cooking together more as a household since the pandemic began, allowing the inference that nearly 40 million people in the US and UK are cooking together more.
  • For 11 per cent housework has become more of a joint effort than ever before, meaning that over 18 million households in the US and UK share more chores–with cooking (65 per cent) and washing dishes (61 per cent) the most popular shared chores.

More quality time spent together as a household

  • Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) say they feel closer to friends and family.
  • Unsurprisingly, the most popular reason for this is people spending more time as a household (54 per cent). But also one in five (20 per cent) say it is because they have been exercising or learning new skills together.

Finding time for self-improvement

  • More people have taken up hobbies, with 16 per cent (which would represent nearly 50 million in the US and UK) have taken up at least one new hobby or skill.
  • From the given list, drawing/painting (20 per cent), cooking (19 per cent), baking (18 per cent) and embarking on a new course of learning (18 per cent) are the most popular hobbies among new starters; 16 per cent say they are more creative in the kitchen.

Perhaps it is no surprise that a third (33 per cent) say they found a new appreciation for their homes this year and 30 per cent say spending more time at home produced unexpected positives. It is unlikely to change. Although 53 per cent hope life returns to normal, 27 per cent say they want to keep up the positive new changes they made at home long-term.

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