- 3 out of 4 homeowners cite a garden or outdoor space as the most important aspect of a home since the outbreak of the pandemic
- Almost half of homeowners (1.4 million) love their homes more than pre-pandemic
Aviva Insurance Ireland DAC, one of Ireland’s leading insurers, recently conducted research to gain insights into the number of people who are either working or studying from home. The research also probed whether our attitude to our homes has changed since the outbreak of the pandemic and what the key reasons are for these changes.
A staggering 66% of homeowners surveyed said that they are currently either studying or working from home. Of that 66%, whilst 18% of homeowners surveyed said that they have always had an office at home, a further 27% have adapted a separate room or space into a home office since the outbreak of Covid-19. However, 27% of respondents admitted to working from a table or desk in a room usually used for other purposes e.g. dining room or kitchen, while 18% said they worked from a table or desk in their bedrooms, with 10% admitting to working from the sofa or armchair.
The research also explored peoples’ attitudes to their homes and whether these had changed given how much more time we have all spent at home through the various restrictions imposed on us since the outbreak of the pandemic. While almost half of all homeowners surveyed (46%) feel the same about their home, some 46% admitted to liking and appreciating their homes more since the outbreak of Covid-19. However, 8% of those surveyed unfortunately like their homes less having spent much more time at home over the course of the last year.
The research further probed the 92% of respondents who either liked and appreciated their homes more or who felt the same about their homes since the outbreak of the pandemic as to the reasons for this. Having a garden and outdoor space is the most important aspect of a home since the outbreak of Covid-19 according to 74% of homeowners, followed by access to a park and nice walks nearby at 59%. Feeling that their homes are safe and secure with a low rate of crime in the area also comes in at a joint second place with 59% of respondents and 39% of those surveyed valued having adequate space and facilities for home working, whilst 35% said that their home is near to where their parents/other family members or friends live. Having a close community was important to 30% of respondents as there is always someone to walk/talk with, and 27% of homeowners appreciated saving on the commute time when working from home.
The research also explored the reasons behind why 8% of homeowners who responded said that they liked their homes less since the outbreak of Covid-19. Not having sufficient space for home working and living was attributed as the primary reason for 76% of these respondents. Of those 181,300 homeowners, 19% of them attributed liking their homes less to the fact that they either don’t have a garden or, if they did, it was too small and 12% claimed that there are not enough amenities in the area. The research also revealed that 22% of them did not have family or friends living nearby. A high crime rate in the area negatively impacted on 6% of those who liked their homes less since the outbreak of the pandemic, with only 1% revealing that their commute is too long.
The outbreak of the pandemic and the various restrictions that were implemented over the past year has resulted in most of us spending extended periods of time at home as we adapted to what has become the new norm. Aviva Insurance Ireland extended its home insurance cover for its customers who are undertaking administrative/office type work from their homes, including personal laptops and printers. However, this cover does not extend to office equipment or where there are callers to the property in connection with the business.Brian Mahon, Aviva Insurance Ireland DAC
“We recommend that people check with their home insurance provider to fully understand what they are covered for. As a significant number of burglaries take place during the day, we also recommend that people remain vigilant whilst at home and ensure that access, including all external doors are always locked. Where possible, they should ensure that valuables such as laptops, mobile phones are kept out of sight”, concluded Brian Mahon.