More than 70 per cent of B.C. residents said some aspect of their daily routine remains changed – most significantly on weekdays – three years since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, a BC Hydro report shows.
While overall residential electricity use is at normal levels for this time of year, BC Hydro data shows the changes to British Columbians’ daily habits has resulted in weekday electricity use peaking slightly later in the morning and earlier in the evening, much like it did in the first months of the pandemic.
This shift can be explained by some residents permanently changing their daily routines because of societal changes like remote work. For example, 51 per cent said their work routine remains changed compared to pre-pandemic, and a majority of those who worked from home at least one day a week during the pandemic still do. This might be why some are still sleeping in (26 per cent) and going to bed later (19 per cent) on weekdays. In fact, working from home and not having a commute is the main reason nearly half said they are sleeping in more on weekdays. And with less office time, some are grooming less – 15 per cent said they are showering less often in the morning and for shorter periods of time than they used to on pre-pandemic weekdays.
Being home more on weekdays has also changed the frequency and timing of cooking and chores. For example, 33 per cent are still cooking dinner at home more often and earlier than pre-pandemic, and 25 per cent are still baking more as a hobby. Working from home also means the opportunity to fit in chores during the day – 70 per cent of those who work from home said they do chores during the day on weekdays, including laundry (48 per cent) and dishes (44 per cent).
When it comes to entertainment, nearly 56 per cent are watching more TV and streaming services than they were pre-pandemic compared to just 29 per cent who reported watching more in September 2020.