Two out of five office staff are now working in an “inappropriate” home-working environment as a result of the coronavirus crisis, a new study suggests.

Only one in four of 2,200 adults surveyed by the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management said they had a separate home office.

Most of those questioned said they were resorting to make-shift work stations at dining room tables, sofas and beds.

Half of those responding reported difficulties staying motivated and focused when working from home, and almost as many faced distractions.

Working from home is also “blurring” lines between work and personal life, said the report, with many finding it hard to switch off at the end of the day or feeling pressure to respond to emails after working hours.

Almost a third said they wanted more support from their employer to create a productive workspace, such as providing office chairs, desks and screens, and almost as many wanted better IT support.

Chris Moriarty, of the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management, said: “As lockdown measures begin to ease, Government and business attention is turning to the mammoth task of how, and when, to get employees across the UK safely back to work.

“Yet it would be naive to assume that ‘business as usual’ will look the same post-crisis, and many are considering the long-term implications of this national experiment in home working.

“Businesses looking to cut costs, or respond to increased employee demand for flexible working, need to also consider the implications to the nation’s productivity of allowing employees to work from home without investing in an adequate home-working environment.”

Additional reporting by PA

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