Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many people must stay home most of the time. According to a study by Stanford University, 42 percent of American workers are working from home during the pandemic.
In a study by LiveCareer this year, 81 percent of people doing remote work said they enjoyed it and 87 percent said they still felt a sense of belonging to their company while working from home. What they liked most was the flexibility of the set-up, followed by enhanced work-life balance, feeling safer at home, being more productive, and developing new skills related to their career.
When asked about the possibility of returning to work in the office, 61 percent said they prefer to continue working remotely, while 29 percent said they will quit their job if they are not allowed to continue working from home. For future employment, 62 percent said they will choose employers that offer remote work arrangements.
With many companies making remote work a long-term option, many people will continue to have a lot of free time saved from not having to commute. As new variants of Covid-19 continue to emerge despite available vaccines, people will still be spending most of their free time at home.
Making Free Time Productive
All that free time can be put to good use productively. Home repairs and remodeling activities surged in 2020. According to a survey by the Freedonia Group, 39 percent of consumers across the country took on home improvement projects triggered by the pandemic. Experts expect modest growth to continue in 2021.
People who stay home for longer periods than before now realize that they need to make their home more suitable for their current needs, and they now have the time to do it. For instance, kitchen remodeling is popular as people can no longer eat out. They want to make cooking at home a more convenient and enjoyable experience.
People also create home offices and study rooms for students who are studying from home. Separate enclosed spaces are necessary for video meetings and online classes. Extra rooms, including guest rooms, basements, and attics, are being repurposed.
Recreational activities these days must also be home-based, hence, people are building home gyms, home saunas, Jacuzzis, and pools. New decks, porches, and patios are popular, as well as gazebos.
Some people go as far as building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) attached to or adjacent to the main house. Elderly family members who must move closer can live here. If the elderly parents are living in the main house, young professional children who want to keep an eye on them can use the unit. The ADU can also be a home office.
Enjoying Free Time
Some people choose to use their free time in productive and enjoyable ways, such as gardening. People love growing not just ornamental plants but also vegetables, fruits, and herbs.
Gardening brings people closer to nature and studies show that this promotes recovery from mental fatigue and stress, lowers blood pressure, and eases muscle tension. This is important as people are experiencing prolonged and elevated stress levels during the pandemic.
Being outdoors while gardening exposes people to the fresh air and the sun. The body needs sunlight to produce vitamin D naturally while a deficiency in vitamin D can lead to more severe outcomes in case of Covid-19 infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers garden work as moderate to high physical activity so it counts as part of an exercise regimen.
Gardening also increases the market value of a home, just as much as home renovation. It is therefore a worthy investment of time and effort. A gardener usually does not think of these things but only enjoys nurturing the plants each day. There is a sense of purpose in this daily task and a sense of fulfillment in seeing the plants thrive.
If there is not enough space for a garden outside, people set up gardens of potted plants in balconies, windowsills, or indoors. Indoor plants are popular these days because people want to have a sense of the outdoors while cooped up indoors. They are also essential as they filter toxins from indoor air.
Productive Fun at Home
Besides doing a home makeover and gardening, people find many other ways to have productive fun during their free time at home. Some are cooking and baking. Others are learning new things such as a new language, doing art, or making music, among others.
You can choose whatever useful and pleasurable activity takes your fancy while staying home. Instead of looking at it as confinement, you can see it as a great opportunity to do more.
Meta title: Use Covid-19 Free Time Productively
meta desc: The coronavirus pandemic has forced people to stay home most of the time, and all that free time can be put to good use productively. Read on and learn more.