22 October 2021

Adults travelling to work without homeworking at highest level in a year – ONS

22 October 2021

The number of adults travelling to work without doing any homeworking is at its highest level in a year, figures show.

More than half (54%) of working adults said they went to a place of work without doing any work at home in the past week, when questioned by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is the highest proportion for a year.

At the same time, about one in seven working adults (15%) worked solely from home.

This is less than half the proportion that worked solely from home in February, and the lowest percentage since the survey began in May 2020.

A similar proportion, 16%, reported a hybrid of travelling to work and working from home.

The ONS analysed responses from 4,004 adults between October 6 and 17 as part of its Opinions and Lifestyle survey.

It found also that the practice of measures to stop the spread of coronavirus has been falling, with most restrictions now eased, although the majority still believe these are important.

Some 39% of adults said they had always or often maintained social distancing when meeting people outside their household over the past week.

This compares with 84% believing this is important in slowing the spread of coronavirus.

The percentage of adults always or often maintaining social distancing has fallen from 63% in mid-July.

(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)

And 82% of adults said they had worn a face covering in the past seven days, which is down from 97% in mid-June.

Women and older adults placed the greatest importance on measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the ONS found.

Men were less likely than women to consider measures such as handwashing, face coverings, social distancing and ventilation to be important in slowing the spread of coronavirus.

Some 94% of women considered handwashing to be important, compared with 88% of men, while 87% of women and 81% of men felt this way about face coverings.

Younger people saw handwashing, wearing face coverings, social distancing and ventilation as less important than older age groups, the ONS said.

Concerns about the effects of coronavirus on people’s lives have also fallen – from 78% at the start of the 2021 lockdown to 42%.

However, the proportion of people who believe that life will never return to normal has been rising.

One in eight adults (12%) feel this way, up from 3% at the start of the year.

And 30% think that it will be more than a year before life returns to normal, compared with 20% at the start of 2021.

The survey also found that 91% of adults would be very likely or fairly likely to have a coronavirus booster vaccine if offered, while 3% would be very or fairly unlikely.

The most common reasons for the latter included thinking the first and second vaccine will be enough to keep safe (50%), and being worried about long-term effects on health (34%)

The NHS says a booster dose helps give people longer-term protection against becoming seriously ill from Covid-19.

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