Two in five of us working in unsuitable conditions at home, new study finds

Pandemic lockdown has forced the nation's office workers to find space at home for work - but many are struggling, according to a survey by the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management.

Woman talking on the phone while looking at her laptop

In fact, only one in four of the 2,200 people surveyed said they had a separate home office, while two in five were identified as working in an 'inappropriate' home environment as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Most respondents admitted to making temporary work stations at dining room tables, sofas and even beds. Half of those questioned said they found it difficult staying motivated and focused at home, and almost as many faced distractions.

The report also highlighted how working from home has blurred the lines between our professional and personal lives, with many struggling to switch off, or feeling pressure to reply to emails after working hours.

Employers need to offer more support

Almost a third of participants said they wanted more support from their employer to create a productive workspace, such as the provision of office chairs, desks and monitors.

Chris Moriarty of the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management said: "As lockdown measures begin to ease, Government and business attention is turning to the mammoth task of how, and when, to get employees across the UK safely back to work. "Yet it would be naive to assume that 'business as usual' will look the same post-crisis, and many are considering the long-term implications of this national experiment in home working."

Employers should at the very least provide a laptop stand and separate mouse and keyboard so that laptop users can work in a safe position that doesn't compromise their posture. We supply complete kits here, or if you'd like the flexibility to choose your own setup, browse our collection of ergonomic mice, keyboards and laptop stands.

Some of our top home office chairs and desks include:

We recommend providing a desk or home office desk like our new Smart Slot Homeworking Desk, which is easily assembled and taken apart by slotting the birch ply pieces together - no tools required.

You can choose to add the sit-stand desk converter for more active working, and the under-desk bookshelf for additional storage. The Opløft Sit-Stand Platform is another great option for homeworking thanks to its compact size and ability to collapse down to just over one inch thick.

The Homeworker Ergonomic Office Chair is a cost-effective option that’s easy to adjust to a perfectly comfortable sitting position. Intuitive functions allow you to adjust the height of the chair so that you can align your feet, knees and hips well, avoid pain and work productively for longer.