Almost half of working adults had no idea what their partner’s job involved – until now







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A study of 1,500 adults currently working from home with their partner found many are only just discovering what their other half really does for a living.

Prior to the lockdown, 46 per cent weren’t sure what their significant other spent their time doing –with their understanding limited to ‘they work in an office’ and ‘they have lots of meetings’.

But the research commissioned by Virgin Media found this figure has plummeted to just 22 per cent during the past month as more couples spend their working days sat next to each other.

A spokesperson for Virgin Media said: “With so many more couples now working from home, it’s funny how many people knew so little about what their other half did for a living – until now.

“Suddenly we’re spending working hours and downtime in the same space and it’s sure to be a learning curve for everyone – whether about the job roles themselves or their partner’s personality.

“It’s good to see that people are making the most of being at home together – whether that’s being there to help solve a work conundrum, taking turns to make a brew, or simply enjoying more quality time with each other.”

The study also found since experiencing the 9-5 working day together, two-fifths of those polled think their partner’s job is demanding and 32 per cent describe it as interesting.

But one in five think it seems boring.

Having seen what they do, more than a third believe their loved one is really good at their job while 23 per cent admitted they are more professional than they’d have expected.

And 29 per cent even admitted their other half works harder than them.

Favourite aspects of co-working with a partner include having someone to talk to all day (32 per cent), being a sounding board for each other (26 per cent) and spending more quality time together (31 per cent).

But downsides include having to move rooms when the other person is on a call, according to a quarter, while 18 per cent said their other half talks too loudly and an eighth think they eat all the snacks.

A fifth have disagreed over the temperature of the room and 18 per cent have argued about the choice of background music.

However, it also emerged more than a quarter have struggled to find a balance between work and home conversations.

A further 54 per cent have realised their partner has a ‘phone voice’ – which 22 per cent describe as posh and a fifth find amusing.

While 30 per cent of men find their other halves’ voice attractive.

An eighth said their significant other uses too much corporate jargon while on a call with a quarter hearing them say ‘touch base’ while 14 per cent said ‘think outside the box’ is often used.

The study also found that while 21 per cent of those polled admitted to answering a work call when watching TV at home, 15 per cent of men have done so from the toilet.

When it comes to the WFH dress code, 18 per cent said their partner’s appearance has gone out the window since staying in and an eighth only see them dress for work if they have a video call.

Similarly, 14 per cent of women and 12 per cent of men admitted their own grooming regime has strayed.

But overall, a third enjoy working from home with their partner and 28 per cent even prefer it to being with their usual colleagues.

A sixth of those polled, via OnePoll, vow to show more of an interest in their job in the future and 22 per cent said spending the working days together has been positive for their relationship.

Virgin Media’s spokesperson added: “Whether it’s providing a seamless broadband connection for work video calls, keeping the kids entertained with hundreds of On Demand cartoons on Virgin TV, or giving great connectivity so families can catch up over apps like Zoom or House Party, we know how important it is to keep people connected and entertained during these tough times.”

Virgin Media’s top tips to get the most of your Wi-Fi connection:

1. Find the best place for your Hub: Keep your router out in the open – objects and other electronics can interfere and even block WiFi signals.

2. Keep your router upright: the lights of the router should be facing into the room. This ensures the strongest WiFi signal goes out into the room – not into the floor.

3. Reboot your router: Sometimes the router might need a reboot. Simply turn it off, wait a few seconds and turn it back on. Reconnecting devices can help too.

4. Get rid of blackspots: If your home is big and has thick walls or insulation some rooms might get a weaker signal, known as a WiFi ‘blackspot’. If you’re a Virign Media customer, use the Virgin Media Connect app, to scan your home for these areas.

5. Use the best connection for the job: Connect devices such as games consoles and Smart TVs using an Ethernet cable. This will ensure the fastest speeds and freeing up WiFi for other devices. If you’re working from home and sharing large files connecting to a wired connection is best. The Virgin Media Connect App can check WiFi signal strength in each room.
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