Working from home is here to stay

April 2022

Cultural Participation Monitor Wave 6 | Spring 2022

This research is from The Audience Agency's nationwide longitudinal (ongoing) panel survey of changing views about participating in creative and cultural activities through the recent and ongoing crises, and beyond, the Cultural Participation Monitor.



Working from home is still prevalent, preferred and expected to continue in to some degree for most, which is likely a contributor to the widespread intention to attend more locally in future than before the pandemic.

Preferences and expectations

For those that have worked from home, a quarter expect to do so all of the time over the next 3 months and over half expect to at least occasionally .

  • Half of those surveyed expect to do it at least most of the time even when there’s no threat from Covid-19.
  • Two-thirds of people prefer working from home most or all of the time, and only 9% never prefer it.
  • Three-quarters of people worked from home more during the pandemic, but this was lower in the youngest and oldest age categories.
Working from home
Figure 1. Column chart of percentages of people working from home during the pandemic and in the future, split by frequency.

Attitudes to Covid-19 align with work habits

  • Those who say they are not comfortable attending events because of Covid-19 are much more likely to say they will continue working from home.
  • Similarly, those who think we should do everything we can to reduce COVID-19 are more likely to say they’ll continue working from home and that they prefer it, compared to those saying we should just live with Covid-19.

Persistence of localism

Even among these more cautious groups though, taking attending live performance as an example, 1/3 people expect to attend closer to home then pre-pandemic,

  • This is many more than say they will travel further than they used to, and likely a result of work/life balances becoming more home-oriented.
  • This trend towards increased local attendance and away from greater travel to cultural events holds across most art forms.
  • Nearly 30% of people say that they have discovered new cultural things to do in their local area that they didn’t know about before Covid-19, indicating that awareness about engaging with the arts locally (and therefore likelihood to do so) is very much on the rise.