Press Release | 31 Mar 2020

UK workers miss office jokes and colleague conversation as working from home becomes the norm

  • Office jokes and light-hearted conversation (41%) and missing colleagues (40%) are two of the things Brits miss most following government work from home advice.
  • Over two thirds (61%) of UK workers feel they are just as productive working from home as in the office, but over a quarter (27%) worry that their boss, clients and colleagues won’t agree.
  • Internal office messaging services are the most important apps used with one third (33%) of workers relying on them to manage workloads and maintain working relationships.
  • Vodafone UK introduces 30-days free access to unlimited mobile data to keep the UK connected to their friends, family and colleagues.

20 March 2020: New research from Vodafone has proved just how much we value time spent with colleagues, with over 40% of workers claiming they miss spending time with their workmates and office jokes and light-hearted chat (41%) the most, as working from home becomes the new norm.

Under the new restrictions enforced by the government, most Brits have experienced a dramatic change in their working environment and daily routine. Over one third (35%) of those surveyed said they miss having the company that colleagues bring and bouncing ideas off one another (30%). One fifth (19%) miss the grown-up conversation that working in an office brings.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. 51% of Brits say the most valuable thing to come out of working from home is the extra time they are claiming back as a result of not commuting. One third (37%) say they are enjoying a lie- in and being able to spend more time with their pets (20%).

Top 10 things we miss about the office

  1. Office jokes (41%)
  2. Colleagues (40%)
  3. Having company around me (35%)
  4. Routine (32%)
  5. Bouncing ideas off each other (30%)
  6. The office buzz to motivate me (22%)
  7. Collaborating with others (21%)
  8. Learning from others & grown up conversation (17%)
  9. The commute (9%)
  10. Watercooler gossip (8%)

As well as our working routines changing, so too have the demands on the tech we rely on, with almost half (44%) unsurprisingly claiming that home broadband is the most valuable piece of tech used while working from home. One third (33%) find the likes of Slack and Skype the most useful applications to use to help keep them in touch whilst working remotely. Video conference calling (29%), audio conferencing calling (22%) and streaming services (20%) are amongst the other most treasured apps that respondents value as they fight to adapt to a new kind of normal.

Scott Petty, Vodafone UK Chief Technology Officer said: “In these turbulent times we’re proud to offer a range of services that can keep people connected with colleagues and help them adapt to new ways of working with as minimal disruption as possible.   As well as ensuring our network stands up so people’s home broadband and mobile phones work efficiently, we will continue to offer insight and advice on how consumers can do their bit. Small things like avoiding scheduling conference calls on the hour or half past the hour will make a huge difference in helping us continue to work smoothly and productively from homeTogether we can get through these uncertain times and keep the UK running.

Despite 61% of UK workers claiming they are just as productive working from home, over one quarter (27%)  worry about their boss, clients and colleagues thinking they’re not working, followed by other concerns that they may miss meetings and deadlines (13%). Thankfully, one thing Brits haven’t had to worry about are tech issues, with over four-fifths (88%) of respondents claiming they have not experienced any tech-related problems since the government’s working from home order was enforced.

The findings also revealed that almost one third (29%) of Brits’ bank balances are benefiting from them working from home with money being saved rather than splurged on coffee or buying lunches every day. Instead 17% are using the time to make more interesting lunches.

Vodafone is offering 30-days unlimited free data to half a million other Pay Monthly customers, not already on unlimited data plans. Customers can access the offer through Vodafone’s VeryMe rewards scheme available through the My Vodafone App**.

Notes to Editors

*Research carried out by FlyResearch in March 2020, of 2,000 working adults aged 18+

**All Pay Monthly customers (consumers and small business) who are registered for VeryMe can access the offer.

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were also the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. As of March 2022, we have 5G in 380 locations across Europe – 141 in the UK and 239 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. Our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 26 UK towns and cities, rising to 35 over the coming months, through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach. Our full fibre services are now available to more than eight million homes across the UK.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

For more information about Vodafone UK please visit:

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693


Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews


Vodafone Limited

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

Registered in England No: 1471587