How The Pandemic Has Changed Our Cleaning Habits
The last 18 months or so have seen many of us working from home for extended periods of time – and we’ve been taking advantage of this in a range of different ways.
Somewhat safe in the knowledge that we can get up and take things a bit slower than we normally would, some of us stay up past our “usual” bedtime and get out of bed a little later.
Others kick back in the garden and enjoy a few extra minutes on their lunch break, knowing full well that an additional 15 minutes of lazing in the sun “won’t do any harm”.
And then there are those of us who have decided to shower or bathe on company time.
That’s right, we British like to talk about the “stiff upper lip” and “just getting on with it”, but we’re just as guilty as everyone else when it comes to getting that little extra time away from our workspace!
Taking Advantage Of The Boss Not Watching
We surveyed 2000 people and found that around 1-in-10 of us were either taking more showers or having more baths since we started working from home.
And that’s no bad thing, really, as we all know that there are many of us who have taken to showering a lot less since we weren’t allowed to leave the house!
But with the boss not being around to watch us (though that would be weird), we found that men were more likely to take advantage of working from home, with 10% of those surveyed saying they were taking more baths in lockdown – compared to 6.2% of women.
3.8% of men and 3.6% of women have also started taking baths on their lunch breaks, with 7.8% of those aged 18-24 most likely to take the plunge when they should really be fuelling up for an afternoon of work.
And of all the cities in the UK, residents of Southampton are more likely to try and get away from their home office desks, with 10.2% taking more baths in lockdown and 8.2% using their dinner break to have a nice relaxing soak.
Are We Really Using Company Time To Take Get Clean?
Making The Most Of Our Bathtubs
Although many more of us are now taking baths in our lunch breaks, the question of whether we are actually eating into company time – and being paid to get clean – still remains.
The average UK lunch break is 34 minutes – but according to our study, we spend an average of 25 minutes in the bath, so perhaps we’re being a bit hasty calling out the UK’s workforce!
However, if 25 minutes is the average, that means some of us are spending a lot longer in the bath than others – so who is it?
Well, according to our data, 35-44 year olds tend to spend a little longer soaking away their worries than anybody else, with 25% of them taking over 45 minutes in the tub.
However, the biggest offenders for extended lunchtime bathtub breaks are actually the over 55’s – as 6.5% of them freely admit to spending well over an hour giving themselves that “prune-like” glow!
And Sneaking A Shower
For showers, it’s a little different and perhaps not as naughty as it is taking a bath.
Of those surveyed, we found that many people only took around 10 minutes to take a shower – which leaves ample time for a bite to eat in the remaining 24 minutes of the average lunch break.
However, some residents of London (2.5%), Birmingham (1.4%) and Nottingham (1.5%) did say they spent in excess of 25 minutes showering, leaving little time to dry themselves off before needing to be back at their desks.
Men were marginally more guilty of taking their time in the shower, with 1.3% of those asked stating they spent over half an hour in there, compared to 1.2% of women.
And it was the millennials in the survey that showered for the longest, with an average shower time of 12.2 minutes, with 5% of that age group taking over 30 minutes in the shower!
What Happens When We Go Back To The Office?
With all this extra time being spent showering and bathing while working from home, it begs the question – what will employers do to accommodate this new-found desire to keep clean when we get back to the office?
If companies allow a “smoke break” for those people dependent on nicotine, will they have to start allocating time for people wanting shower and bathtub breaks too?
Perhaps we’ll see employees demanding contracts that state they must be allowed to take showers on site and enjoy the relaxation a bath can offer on a daily basis!
Who really knows?
One thing is for certain, however, the “new normal” is not as “normal” as we think, and in years to come don’t be surprised to find yourself walking past your colleague in their bath robe, making their way back to their desk, smelling strongly of Original Source or Dove.
I for one support these possible changes, if only for the singing in the shower competitions that are likely to come about when everyone has got used to it all!
Have You Changed Since Working From Home?
We’ve all been through a lot in the last year and a half, and we’d love to hear how you are doing things differently than before the pandemic began.
John trained in journalism before joining the Big Bathroom Shop team. His exceptional journalism skills allow him to meticulously research bathroom topics and bring you the very latest news and views on all things bath and shower related. He’s also a dab hand at Scrabble!