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We miss colleagues more than we think during coronavirus lockdown, study finds

Caroline Allen
Contributor
Some people are struggling with working from home. (Getty Images)

When it comes to working from home amid the coronavirus pandemic, it seems we fall into one of two categories; those who love it and those who hate it.

Working from home has its benefits. There’s no commute for a start, and lunches can be a little more extravagant, enjoyed in the garden rather than at our desks.

Many people might see some time away from their co-workers as a plus, but it seems it’s that physical presence is precisely what we’re missing.

New research from PR Pioneer found that one in three of us are missing our work colleagues more than we might’ve thought pre-lockdown.

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The research specifies that we’re missing our “work spouse” the most, that’s the person we’re closest to in the office. In fact, the survey has found we miss them more than we would miss our actual partners if we didn’t have them with us in lockdown.

For many, it comes down to productivity.

67% of people said they’d be far more productive if they were in lockdown with their work colleagues rather than their families and friends.

The average person spends 40 hours per week surrounded by their co-workers, so it’s not surprising that their presence - even if it’s usually a presence that you find annoying - is something you can’t help but miss.

The change, which happened really suddenly, has unsurprisingly caught us feeling out of sorts.

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Good relationships in the workplace are key.

Research has shown that they help us feel happier and even reduce the chance of burnout.

It’s hard to deny the special place in your heart for your “work spouse” too - which is defined as a platonic relationship between two people who share the same sense of humour, lifestyle and wavelength as each other.

While virtual calls are partially filling the void, the small everyday interactions that you have with your work colleagues simply can’t be replicated via patchy video chat.

The community aspect is something that many of us (and admittedly not all of us) have come to expect and secretly love.

While some will be thriving in their new lockdown routines, others feel bereft without the regular chats with colleagues.

The best thing we can do in this situation is enjoy the positives while we can in the knowledge that Bob’s 1pm leftover curry will soon be eye-roll inducing once again.