October 26th, 2020

5 ways that the UK has changed during lockdown

The lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic has caused our lives to change in many ways, from being unable to visit our loved ones to having to work from home. However, while some of the changes might be inconvenient, not all are bad.

As the country faces a new wave of local lockdowns, you might be wondering what changes to our lives are here to stay. Read on for the five ways that the UK has changed during lockdown.

1. People have become more health-conscious

One positive impact that the lockdown has had on society is that people are now more health-conscious than they were before the pandemic.

A study by market researcher FMCG Gurus has found that 59% of people surveyed said they had become more conscious about their health as a result of the lockdown, with many also intending to improve their diet to boost their wellbeing and immune system.

Another major change is the more positive attitude towards face masks. In some parts of the world, such as China, face masks are a common sight, especially in winter. In the UK however, before the pandemic, it was rare to see someone wearing a face mask.

However, a recent study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that 95% of people now wear a face covering when leaving the house.

The government has encouraged the use of masks to help prevent transmission of the coronavirus, but experts hope that in future the use of masks could help prevent transmission of the flu in winter.

2. People appreciate the time with their loved ones more, but see them less

While being forced to isolate from loved ones may have made us realise how much we take the opportunity for granted, Brits now visit their family less than they did before the pandemic.

Data indicates that the coronavirus poses the highest risk to the elderly, many of whom have been isolating as much as possible during the lockdown. To help safeguard our loved ones, many people decided to visit their family as little as possible to minimise the risk of them contracting the virus.

However, even in areas which are not facing the prospect of a local lockdown people are still hesitant to see their loved ones. The ONS has reported that more than half of Brits (53%) now see family members less than they did prior to the lockdown.

3. Working from home is now more common

During the lockdown, many businesses encouraged their workers to work from home – and that trend is set to continue. According to a report published by the BBC, 74% of firms surveyed said they planned on maintaining the increase in homeworking.

This change is a positive one for many workers, who can now save time and money on the daily commute to work. Furthermore, working from home can also boost productivity, making it a boon for both worker and boss.

According to a report published in the Independent, more than half (58%) of workers said they felt their productivity improved since they started working from home. The report found that 30% of managers also reported an increase in productivity, with 35% of them also reporting that their teams had become more collaborative too.

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4. More people have become interested in gardening

As a result of the lockdown preventing people from enjoying public green spaces, such as parks, many people took to their garden.

This led to a surge of Brits taking an interest in gardening, including growing their own vegetables. Studies have shown there are significant mental health benefits to gardening, while growing your own produce can shave a few pounds off your weekly grocery bill.

Many city and county councils temporarily halted allotment applications during the first lockdown but as soon as it was lifted applications began flooding in, with 40% of councils reporting a ‘significant uplift’ in interest. In some areas, the number of applications has increased by as much as 300%.

Sales in houseplants have also boomed during and since the end of the lockdown, so even those without outdoor gardens can enjoy the benefits of gardening.

According to Patch, an online indoor plant retailer, there has been a 500% increase in houseplant sales during lockdown and this enthusiasm for all things green has continued into the autumn.

5. Households save more than they did before the lockdown

While there were many drawbacks to the lockdown, one positive outcome is that it turned Brits into a nation of savers.

The lockdown seems to have made people take more notice of their household finances, as the average percentage of income that households saved rose to a record 29.1%. Lockdown also enabled Brits to pay off more than £7 billion in credit card debt.

According to a report by KPMG, published in the Guardian, although Brits are now saving less than they did at the height of the lockdown, they are still saving more than they did before the pandemic as spending has fallen by 2.6% compared to last year.

Get in touch

If you’ve found you saved money during lockdown and want advice on how to use it more effectively to achieve your life goals, we can help. Email us at enquiries@prosserknowles.co.uk or click here to request a call back from one of our advisers.

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