An increase in the number of people working from home has caused a surge in noise complaints – in just a year, new research reveals 450,000 have been made to councils by UK residents.
Released in 2022, data showed an increase of 10% since 2019, coinciding with the jump in homeworkers since the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of Brits working from home in December 2019 was 4.7 million. Over the next three years, the number more than doubled to 9.9 million.
When the first of the Covid lockdowns began in March 2020, remote working suddenly became the norm, as workplaces were forced to close down by the government, but this trend has continued – as businesses have struggled to get their staff to return to the office full time.
Problems of working from home
Although having a home office is more flexible and there’s no need for a stressful commute, it comes with its own problems.
Around one in five people have made a noise complaint about their neighbours, according to a recent survey. Most respondents told Confused.com the main issues were parties, loud talking and noisy pets. Almost one-third of noise complaints centre on neighbours playing loud music, according to data compiled by Churchill Insurance.
In severe cases, noisy neighbours can make it impossible to work from home. It can be difficult to produce quality work when distracted by noise, which can reduce productivity for even the most dedicated of workers.
Apart from losing concentration, there are other effects that can impact your business. For example, if you’re on the phone to a client, loud music in the background can seem unprofessional.
Research has shown we care more about noise levels in the workplace than we do about the cleanliness or temperature of our environment.
Health impact of noisy neighbours
As well as noisy neighbours causing disruption, there’s an additional impact on our mental health. Continued exposure to noise nuisance causes an increase in stress. It can make us feel on edge, irritable, frustrated and even angry.
Continued excess noise can lead to a deterioration in mental health, causing anxiety and depression. A study of 15,000 people who were subject to long-term noise annoyance revealed 78% reported experiencing depression. This ranged from 26% who described it as “slight” to 10% who said it was “extreme”.
In addition, 36% had been medically diagnosed with anxiety. So, a home office when you have noisy neighbours is not a healthy environment in which to work.
How can coworking help?
Life in post-Covid Britain has changed, in terms of how companies perceive a working day. One-third of new jobs in industries such as IT, software and marketing are offering remote working.
The biggest sector benefiting from remote working is software development, with 39% of people no longer working in a corporate office. This has increased by 27% since 2019.
Working in a coworking space offers plenty of benefits and it’s a great alternative location in comparison with a home office. Not only can you enjoy the flexibility of organising working hours to suit, but you can also benefit from a fast broadband connection and shared equipment to reduce overheads.
Work in a stress-free, lively environment with like minded professionals and enjoy networking and collaboration. There are also private meeting rooms, or community areas where you can take a break.
Coworking in London
Unsurprisingly, the biggest number of noise complaints come from London, where 151,814 reports of noisy neighbours have been made to local authorities in one year.
The second worst-hit region is south-east England, where there have been 47,986 complaints.
Thankfully, if you’re considering coworking, London also has some of the best workspaces in Britain. Headspace offers coworking in Farringdon, where you can gain privacy without experiencing isolation. The offices have original exposed brickwork, with marble columns and steel beams. Our kitchens are fully stocked and there are breakout spaces on every floor to inspire your team.
We also provide a welcoming reception area, where a dedicated on-site team is available to answer any queries and greet your guests.
Six meeting rooms are ideal for everything from management meetings to a round of interviews, while the event space is perfect for a networking lunch, holding up to 70 people and providing various catering options.
With high-speed internet and calls package, shower rooms, free breakfast five days a week and an onsite bike rack, the nearby Elizabeth line offers easy access to the whole of London.
Escape the noisy neighbours by searching for “Headspace coworking space near me” to discover first-hand the benefits of this fast-growing way of working that helps maintain a great work/life balance too.
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