Parents coping with workplace changes, for now

New research into Covid-19 induced changes finds working from home doesn’t seem to be a problem for many workers but the full effect of homeschooling and childcare yet to be felt.

Man holding baby over his shoulder while cradling phone between head and shoulder on the other side and mixing a bowl with other hand.


New research finds around half of UK workers are reporting it’s harder to get their work done since the coronavirus crisis began.

Many parents cite the added pressure of working from home combined with childcare as part of the problem.

But more encouragingly around half of workers say they are not finding it more difficult to work. The proportion of people working from home has doubled from 15% to 36%. With a significant chunk of them finding it straightforward that adds weight to theories that the coronavirus experience may lead to a growth in flexible working.

The survey by polling firm Ipsos Mori was carried out just before schools shut and the nationwide lockdown began. Still, 39% of parents say that looking after their children has become more difficult since the outbreak of Covid-19. That figure is expected to rise in future research.


Younger parents and guardians are significantly more likely to be finding childcare more difficult as a result of coronavirus. Over half (51%) of parents aged between 18 and 34 say childcare is more difficult now. This jumps down to a third (32%) of those aged 35-54.

Younger workers are also reporting more problems overall with the new working arrangements. Three in five (58%) of those currently in work aged between 18-34 say they are finding it harder since the coronavirus outbreak. That compares to nearer two in five 35-54-year-olds (45%).


Kelly Beaver, MD of Public Affairs Ipsos MORI, said, “Half of British workers have been finding it harder to do their job in recent weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak.  This could be for a host of reasons, such as the logistics of working from home; having to find safe ways to continue a job; the economic impact or purely the anxiety of the crisis impacting people’s ability to do their job.

“What I am pretty certain of is that this figure will undoubtedly go up once those with children start testing their skills as teachers, nannies, nursery workers and employees this week.”

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