Thought Leadership

Downtime in the time of COVID-19

Murillo Meireles, Planner at Missouri Creative explores the agency’s latest research that looks at what we’re doing with our free time in lockdown.

Murillo Meireles

Planner Missouri


The Coronavirus lockdown has plunged the UK into uncharted territory and forced the British to get creative, adapt, and try to maintain a certain level of normality in life.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, plenty has been written about the impact this would ultimately have on people’s mental and financial wellbeing.

However, little has been said about their downtime.

When even so basic human needs like socialising are off the table, what do people do in their free time? What are we doing to have a good time in this age of restriction?

Late 2019, we interviewed over 2,000 people from across Britain to understand how they are spending their downtime.

Interestingly, two insights from that research as well as the macro-trends we drew from them are very relevant today.

The first one, which we call A Cocooned Generation, shows that desire for more intimate experiences is widespread in the country, and is leading more and more people to choose to stay in. This is particularly true amongst 18-34 years old; 61% are claiming to prefer to switch off and relax by ‘staying at home’.

The other relevant macro-trend, named JOMO is the new FOMO, describes how our most connected generation yet is also the keenest to disconnect. In fact, 42% of 18-34s in Britain spend the majority of their downtime alone. This makes them the most isolated age group in the entire country.

However, we understand that staying in is no longer a matter of choice. So, we decided to share with you some relevant findings from our research, which may shed some light onto the way your consumers are spending their free time at home.

We asked people from England, Wales and Scotland to tell us how often they have chosen to ‘stay in’ on a weekend night to do one of the following activities: streaming or watching video / TV; playing video games; and hosting friends and family.

Below, you will find three key insights from our research.

Visit Missouri’s profile to download the full Show Me report.

Guest Author

Murillo Meireles

Planner Missouri


Joining Missouri four years ago, Murillo heads up the agency’s strategy department. Murillo is the mastermind behind building and developing client strategies, working closely with both the account and creative teams. His experience spans over multiple sectors, from F&B to education to sport. Murillo is also heavily involved in writing insights and trends reports, and is the primary copy writer for the agencies bi-annual publication, Show Me.

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