The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a unique experiment in mass homeworking. It’s the first time since before the industrial revolution that most people are working in the same space that they live. While just 5% of the UK labour force worked from home in 2019, by April 2020 this suddenly hit nearly 50%.
As lockdown begins to ease, the debate is shifting to how and when people will return to the office – if at all. A major obstacle seems to be fears of commuting. The thought of getting on a crowded train in the middle of a pandemic doesn’t sound very appealing. And yet one of the intriguing findings from our new research project into how people have coped with the experience of homeworking has been the number of people who say they miss their commute.