Turns Out We're All Thinking It – Here's How Many Of Us Miss Lockdown Life

The major study has got us saying all the things we've been scared of sharing
Joseph Okpako via Getty Images

If you secretly miss lockdown, don’t worry – you’re not a terrible person and thanks to new research, it’s clear that you’re not the only one who’s thinking it.

According to eye-opening research carried out to mark the third anniversary of the UK going into lockdown, one in four people in the UK feel life was better in lockdown.

Yup, in a nationwide survey commissioned by Story Shop and conducted by insight agency Opinion Matters, a whopping 26% of respondents said ‘they wish they were back in lockdown’.

However, more than a third of the population has been left feeling isolated following the pandemic.

Missing lockdown is something Anní Mara, 27, from Glasgow, can attest to.

Although she’s by no means hoping for another, she admits there were certain aspects of lockdown life that allowed her to live life more slowly and enjoyably.

She said: “I’m very aware I wasn’t fully affected by the consequences many others endured during lockdown, but there was some beauty in the way the world slowed down.

Anni Mara misses some of the pros of lockdown life
Story Shop
Anni Mara misses some of the pros of lockdown life

“I feel that 24 hours felt like 24 hours and I had more time to focus on one thing at a time, as if all extra noise was erased. I miss the headspace.

“Now life is just faster again, which is fine. I feel I am back to functioning on high-alert and I’m doing more things at the same time.

“I wouldn’t say I wish to be back in lockdown, but I miss the pros of it.”

It’s not all bad news though – the study’s findings also revealed that in a bid to combat loneliness, almost 40% of us now make more of an effort to meet friends for a coffee or a pint.

Robi Lambie is the founder and co-owner of one of the UK’s leading specialty coffee roasters, Cairngorm Coffee. Since lockdown lifted, Robi has witnessed a spike in visits to Cairngorm’s coffee shop on Edinburgh’s Melville Place, with custom eclipsing pre-pandemic levels.

He believes people are still seeing face-to-face contact with their friends and loved ones as invaluable.

Robi Lambie has seen an influx of customers heading out to catch up with others
Alex Jeynes
Robi Lambie has seen an influx of customers heading out to catch up with others

He said: “We’ve definitely seen more customers come into our cafes to have that old school, proper sit-down catch-up, the essence of what coffee shops are about.

“A lot of people have screen fatigue and catching up over the phone, by message or on Zoom just doesn’t cut it anymore.”

The research also unveiled that attitudes to work and employment have also shifted significantly, with results showing almost a third of people in the UK would now quit their job if employers don’t let them work from home.

Figures have also found more than a quarter of people in the UK would consider leaving the country and working abroad as a result of lockdown (27%).

Euan Cameron, founder of virtual interviewing platform Willo, says that lockdown helped us finally overcome remote working hurdles: “The Covid-19 pandemic drove the biggest change to working habits since the industrial revolution. It changed what we thought was possible when it comes to work, and for the better.

“It’s no secret that lockdowns were the final hurdle on remote working going mainstream, but what this survey shows is that working from home is now considered a right, not a perk or privilege. If workers aren’t afforded it, they’ll vote with their feet and I think we ’ll see more of that as years progress.”

Although three years have passed since we were first plunged into lockdown, one things for certain – the effects (good and bad) we’re still feeling from it still show no sign of slowing.