Almost a third of people who worked from home during the coronavirus pandemic wore pajamas during virtual meetings, while one in ten did not even wear pants, according to a YouGov survey.
The results suggest that around 42% of home workers have suffered from ‘zoom fatigue’ since the pandemic began, although only 14% say they want to return to the office all day if it is safe to do so.
One in five says they never want to go back.
The study, commissioned by transcription app Otter.ai, comes 12 months after Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the UK that an unprecedented lockdown would begin to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
A week earlier, the public was asked to work from home wherever possible.
The move has prompted companies across the country to assess office space needs while employees see the financial and time savings when they stop commuting. However, this comes at the expense of isolation, especially for those with smaller apartments.
Of the 2,027 remote workers surveyed – including 1,012 from the UK – nearly half (45%) would prefer a balance that goes to the office between one and three days a week.
The main reason that part-time work continued at least part-time was to avoid commuting (51%), followed by flexible working hours (34%).
Two in ten respondents said they want to continue working remotely because they get more sleep, and 15% say they don’t want to wear formal clothes.
However, workplace chatter is the most missed aspect of office life (43%), while poor productivity is cited as the biggest impact by people tired of video calls to Zoom and Microsoft teams.
A third (31%) admitted having private conversations with friends in the same virtual meeting and wearing pajamas (30%).
A quarter (23%) also admitted shopping online during a call and 15% said they played computer games.
“Our survey shows that work will never be the same as it was before the pandemic,” said Sam Liang, Otter.ai’s managing director and founder.
“Employees are now demanding a flexible and hybrid work environment that accommodates the new work-life balance and the changing attitudes that come from working from home over such a long period.
“The exhaustion of the zoom is real and meetings need to be adapted to our new work environment, regardless of whether this changes the structure of meetings fundamentally or whether employees work with collaboration apps that help with meeting notes and share conversations in real time . “