How family life has changed since lockdown

18 October 2021
How family life has changed since lockdown

THREE MONTHS ON: RESEARCH REVEALS THE IMPACT ON FAMILY LIFE SINCE LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS EASED

  • Feelings of closeness and bonding improved for most families during lockdown, according to a Leeds University study
  • However, 28 per cent of Britons have been spending less time with their family since lockdown restrictions lifted in July
  • Almost half (46 per cent) don’t have time to eat meals together as a family on a regular basis
  • 79 per cent admit they’ll spend more time looking at their electronic devices or TV screens at home instead of spending time together as a family
  • Three quarters of Britons polled wish they could spend more time together as a family
  • Watching a movie, baking and exercising top the list of activities we’d like to do more of together
     

As we reach the three-month mark since most legal restrictions on social contact were lifted in England on 19 July 2021, new research commissioned by home heating expert, Alpha Heating Innovation has revealed that the quality time we were compelled to enjoy together as households during the pandemic is already beginning to slip away.

Whilst lockdown presented numerous challenges and disadvantages – including financial worries, home schooling and reduced access to support services, – we, as a nation, had the opportunity to halt the busy pace of life so many of us were accustomed to and instead embrace precious time together as a family unit.

According to a study of British families in lockdown by Leeds Trinity University1, for most families feelings of closeness and bonding improved during lockdown in a way that was perceived as being highly beneficial for wellbeing. However, since social restrictions were lifted in July, research out today reveals that 28 per cent of Britons acknowledge they already have been spending less time with their family.

As a result, almost half (46 per cent) of us don’t have time to eat meals together as a family on a regular basis anymore. With studies demonstrating that the traditional practice of family mealtime can help children develop their social skills, eat more healthily and even keep truancy levels down2, it is worrying that almost half of Brits are not managing to achieve this – especially given that YouGov reported in 2017 that eight in 10 children were at that time having their tea at the table.

Furthermore, the research revealed that when families are at home, 79 per cent spend more time looking at their electronic devices or TV screens instead of enjoying time together as a family. And when focussed family time is carved out, screen time continues to play a role with just over half (52 per cent) professing to enjoy watching a movie together, and almost two thirds (65 per cent) opting to simply watch TV.

Three months in to the new, post-pandemic norm, with many workers commuting again and children back in school after the summer break, it is little wonder that three quarters of Britons wish that they could spend more time together as a family. Those polled wished they had more time to enjoy a family movie, do some cooking or baking as a family, or exercise as a group.

The top 15 ways Brits typically spend their quality time together at home are:

  1. Watching TV
  2. Watching a movie
  3. Baking/cooking
  4. Playing games
  5. Gardening
  6. Exercising
  7. Box-set bingeing
  8. Cleaning
  9. Gaming (on a console)
  10. Group calling/video-calling friends/relatives
  11. Having a pyjama/duvet day
  12. Doing DIY together
  13. Reading together
  14. Doing arts and crafts
  15. Doing a jigsaw
     

The top 15 ways Brits WISHED they spent their quality time together at home are:

  1. Watching a movie
  2. Baking/cooking
  3. Exercising
  4. Playing games
  5. Watching TV
  6. Gardening
  7. Doing arts and crafts
  8. Having a pyjama/duvet day
  9. Reading together
  10. Exploring family history
  11. Doing a jigsaw
  12. Cleaning
  13. Gaming (on a console)
  14. Group calling/video-calling friends/relatives
  15. Doing DIY together
     

In response to the research, Alpha Heating is encouraging families to make time when they’re at home to stay connected. Samantha Stack, HR Manager and Mental Health First Aider for Alpha Heating Innovation, comments: “A person’s home is their sacred space and the pandemic enabled us all to re-examine how we interact with those we live with. There are important lessons to learn from the lockdown experience and it’s unfortunate to see the quality time that some of us enjoyed is already ebbing away. Home moments are the ones that matter; and we hope people don’t forget to make space for good, old-fashioned family time.”

 

1https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/6400/pdf/
2https://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisaproducts/pisainfocus/PISA-in-Focus-n35-(eng)-FINAL.pdf

Address Finder
Choose an address from the list below...
Register Interest
Provide your details below and hit 'Register Interest'.

CUSTOMER NOTICE: Please be aware that GasSafe will be taking all services offline from Thursday 25th November until Monday 29th November. During this time, installers will not be able to register installations via our portal.

We use cookies to improve your experience, including to personalise content, to provide useful features, and to analyse our traffic and measure performance. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

×
Cookie Preferences
Intro
Essential Cookies
Non-Essential Cookies

About Cookies and your Privacy

When you visit any web site, it may safely store or retrieve information in cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalised and consistent web experience.

We respect your right to privacy, so you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Some cookies are essential and the website would not function without them.

Always Active

Essential Cookies

These cookies are essential for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

These are usually to do with keeping track of information between page views like your privacy preferences or that you have logging in.

You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. 

The essential cookies we set are:

  • PHPSESSID - A unique reference to your browser session on our website. This allows us to keep track of things like your basket and whether you are logged in. This cookie will expire after the browser is closed
  • plii - This cookie ensures you are kept logged in to the website during your session.
  • nfPP-* - These cookies store your preferences regarding cookie preferences, like if you have accepted the notice and if you have optionally disabled non essential cookies. These persist between browser sessions

Non-Essential Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. Some information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance and make improvements.

  • Facebook: We use conversion tracking from Facebook to help us understand how effective campaigns are from Facebook.
  • Google AdWords Conversion: We use conversion tracking to help us understand how effective our digital campaigns are.
  • Google Analytics: We use Google Analytics to collect information about how visitors use our website. For example, we collect details of the site where the visitor has come from and the total number of times a visitor has been to our website.
  • Google Tag Manager: We use Google Tag Manager to track user behaviour, traffic analysis and marketing optimisation.
  • LinkedIn: We use conversion tracking from LinkedIn to help us understand how effective campaigns are from LinkedIn.