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Survey reveals how Britons’ priorities have changed over the last year of Covid lockdowns

Foreign holidays and nights out are less important to Britons than they were before lockdown, a new survey has revealed.  

Instead, daily walks, spending lots of time with family and being able to work from home have become a greater priority than they were a year ago.

The study, of 2,000 adults, found 43 per cent have completely re-evaluated life and what really matters to them since the pandemic.

Plans for travelling, having loads of money and a nice car were once a top priority of many Britons.

But having spent months stuck at home under strict Covid lockdown rules, Britons are now looking close to home for the activities that make them happy, according to the study.

Spending lots of time with family (23 per cent) was and remains the top priority – having seen a one per cent rise. 

Exercising regularly (21 per cent) became the second biggest priority, up three per cent, while eating healthy (19 per cent) featured high in the list, having seen a two per cent rise. 

Daily walks, spending lots of time with family (pictured: Library iamge) and being able to work from home have become a greater priority than they were a year ago

Daily walks, spending lots of time with family (pictured: Library iamge) and being able to work from home have become a greater priority than they were a year ago

Exercising regularly (21 per cent) became the second biggest priority for Britons during lockdown

Exercising regularly (21 per cent) became the second biggest priority for Britons during lockdown

Britons also became more green-fingered in lockdown, with spending more time in the garden (14 per cent) making the top six with a three per cent increase

Britons also became more green-fingered in lockdown, with spending more time in the garden (14 per cent) making the top six with a three per cent increase

The nation’s top six priorities and how they compare to last year, according to a new survey 

1) Spending lots of time with family – 23per cent (Up 1per cent)

2) Exercising regularly – 21per cent (Up 3per cent)

3) Having money in savings or a rainy day fund – 19per cent (Down 3per cent)

4) Eating healthily – 19per cent (Up 2per cent)

5) Getting out for daily walks – 19per cent (Up 4per cent)

6) A good work/life balance – 18per cent (Down 2per cent)

7) Spending more time in the garden – 14per cent (Up 3per cent)

8) Making sure my home is a space I enjoy – 14per cent (Up 2per cent) 

9) Having time to do hobbies and interests – 13per cent (Down 3per cent)

10) Having a steady or secure job/income – 12per cent (Down 2per cent) 

11) Having a holiday abroad booked to look forward to 11per cent – (Down 10per cent)

12) Spending more time in the countryside 10per cent – (Up 1per cent)

13) Spending time with pets 10per cent (Up 1per cent) 

14) Being able to work from home – 9per cent (Up 4per cent)

15) Balancing a healthy social life –  8per cent (Down 2per cent)

Britons also became more green-fingered in lockdown, with spending more time in the garden (14 per cent) making the top six list of priorities, with a three per cent increase.

Having a good work/life balance (19 per cent) remained important, but saw a two per cent decrease – with many Britons working from home during the pandemic.

The third biggest priority, having money in savings (19 per cent), became less of a priority, with Britons able to save on meals out and holidays in lockdown.  

With Britons unable to get away for most of last year and all of this year so far, holidays abroad (11 per cent) also slumped in the priority list by 10 per cent – the biggest fall in the survey.

With nightclubs closed since March last year, regular nights out with friends (seven per cent) saw a five per cent drop in the priority stakes, while regularly eating meals with family (nine per cent) also fell by three per cent.  

Being able to work from home (nine per cent) saw the biggest rise in priority, up four per cent, while spending more time in the countryside (10 per cent) saw a one per cent rise, as did spending time with pets (10 per cent).

Meanwhile, an overwhelming 78 per cent of adults admit they took their life for granted before lockdown, while just under six in 10 have gained a new perspective on what really matters.

Maitham Mohsin, Head of Savings at Skipton Building Society, who carried out the research, said: ‘We wanted to check the state of the nation to find out what really matters to people and how have their life priorities now changed due to the pandemic.

‘Our results show there definitely appears to be a shift in what people now want out of life. The most significant change appears to be the desire to go abroad.

‘This was once something people yearned for, but a year without significant international travel has meant we’ve learned to really appreciate what is on our doorstep.

‘There is the real feeling from the research that people have taken stock a little, and now really enjoy the slower pace of life, with less focus on material things and to continue with new habits, such as saving more and been more careful with their finances.’

It emerged Brits are now less worried about having good career or promotion prospects, or a high-paying salary.

The third biggest priority, having money in savings (19 per cent), became less of a priority, with Britons able to save on meals out and holidays in lockdown

The third biggest priority, having money in savings (19 per cent), became less of a priority, with Britons able to save on meals out and holidays in lockdown

Eating healthy (19 per cent) featured high in the list, having seen a two per cent rise from last year

Eating healthy (19 per cent) featured high in the list, having seen a two per cent rise from last year

Being able to work from home (nine per cent) saw the biggest rise in priority, up four per cent, while spending more time in the countryside (10 per cent) saw a one per cent rise, as did spending time with pets (10 per cent)

Being able to work from home (nine per cent) saw the biggest rise in priority, up four per cent, while spending more time in the countryside (10 per cent) saw a one per cent rise, as did spending time with pets (10 per cent)

But it has become more important to have a job with flexible working opportunities, to spend lots of time with family and pets, and to have access to the countryside.

The work life balance has already improved for some 23 per cent of those polled via OnePoll, and with that 35 per cent want to slow down and enjoy life more.

Though people are less focused on the salary entering their bank account, when it comes to money, more than one quarter have been more careful with cash throughout lockdown.

Many hope this will continue, with 27 per cent wanting to carry on saving more money, rather than spend it.

Over half of adults admit they would like some elements of lockdown to remain once restrictions are lifted.

With six in 10 stating they have no intention of returning to exactly the same lifestyle they had before Covid-19 swept the country.

A third are determined to continue watching what they eat, 33 per cent want to keep exercising well, and spending time outdoors is a must for 38 per cent.

Community spirit remains strong – with 15 per cent feeling determined to maintain their place within the local neighbourhood, and 13 per cent intend to keep helping vulnerable or elderly members of society. 

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