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Death of the family meal

25th February 2013 Print

Working families are struggling to find enough time each week to enjoy even a basic sit-down meal together, according to findings from Santander Home Insurance. The research reveals that 8 per cent of working adults with children at home say they get to sit down for a family meal less than once a week, including weekends.  A further 15 per cent only sit down for a family meal once or twice a week including at the weekend.
The findings are part of a study of how much time Britons spend in their home in a typical week. The study reveals that many Brits feel they don't spend enough time at home, with 25 per cent stating they feel they have less time to spend in the home than they did a few years ago. Over a quarter (27 per cent) of working adults say they rarely or never have time to do household tasks such as DIY or household chores, and one in four (22 per cent) say their home sometimes feels like merely a place to eat and sleep rather than a ‘real home'.
Nineteen per cent of working adults say they don't have enough free time to spend any quality time with their family.
The study reveals that during the working week, the typical working adult spends just two hours and 19 minutes per day at home with their families, and a further two hours and eight minutes at home doing activities like working or using a computer with no family interaction.
Men spend less time than women with their families, spending just two hours and four minutes with them per working day, compared to two hours and thirty six minutes for working women.
Working Brits spend an average of one hour and eight minutes a day commuting, one hour and one minute carrying out other activities outside the home such as shopping, and fifty-eight minutes getting ready for work. An average of fifty minutes a day is spent carrying out hobbies or interests outside the home.
Richard Al-Dabbagh, Santander Home Insurance, said: "The pressures of 21st century life in Britain mean that many people have very little time to do things in the home like spend time with their family, take care of regular chores like paying the bills or do DIY around the home. We spend more time working than we spend doing anything else and as a result, family traditions like a meal around the table are gradually slipping."
Typical day during the working week for working Britons

Activity - Average hours spent on activity per typical working day

At work 6h 53m
Asleep 6h 44m
At home with the family e.g. eating together or talking to each other 2h 19m
At home but not interacting with the family e.g. on the computer or working 2h 8m
Travelling to or from work 1h 8m
Other activities outside the home e.g. doing the shopping 1h 1m
Getting ready for work 58m
Socialising outside the home e.g. going to the pub 50m
Hobbies/interests outside the home e.g. playing sport 50m
Other 1h 19m