The survey, which ran from 31 March 2021 to 2 June 2021, sought views from the general public on the continued impact of the lockdown and restrictions on the use of their homes and neighbourhoods and how they spend time in their places of work, leisure, learning and living. These were categorised under the following headings:
- Impact of lockdown on wellbeing
- Private spaces and lockdown
- Outdoor spaces and lockdown
- Your neighbourhood and lockdown
- Activities and travel during lockdown
Whilst the results of this survey are certainly limited by the number and background of respondents, they still provide a piece of the much bigger picture of everyday life after lockdown. The results have shown the potentially powerful and long-lasting impact that the first and second national lockdowns have had on many people’s lives and the way they see our private and shared environments.
The changing nature of how and where we work has been almost universally acknowledged among the respondents (95%). Over the last year, the Office has moved from the city, town or village commercial developments to kitchen tables, living rooms (37%), spare rooms (35%) and even bedrooms (32%).
According to more than half of respondents (57%), the imposed restrictions have presented an almost evenly balanced mix of opportunities and limitations (34% and 35% respectively). We have learnt to place more value on our private outdoor spaces (80%); and to enjoy and make significantly more use of our local parks (71%) and neighbourhoods (64%) for socializing, walking and cycling.
The collated responses have clearly shown a renewed importance on the places we have missed the most - from our local cafés, pubs and restaurants, through the cultural and sports venues (58%) to our ability to visit our friends and families’ homes (34%).
The impacts of the period of COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions will require further and much wider long-term study. The intention of both this and last years’ MAG surveys has been to provide a useful point of reference and factual evidence which could inform current and future thinking on how we improve our private and shared environments.
Survey responses were analysed by statisticians within the Professional Services Unit of the Department, and the Our Lockdown World Survey Report was produced to present the findings.