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UK a ‘Nation in Waiting’ as 103 Million Hours Taken Off Work


More than half (53%) of UK workers say they have taken time off work to stay at home for either delivery, inspection or repair in the past year according to research from Hometree, the smart home services company.

People have taken on average 3 hours 18 mins to wait ‘in’ for deliveries, inspections or repairs in the last year which equates to a total of 103 million working hours1 wasted – the equivalent of three weeks2 holiday time taken off over a working life.

When it comes to what people wait for, the worst offenders are parcel deliveries. More than two thirds (68%) of people say they have had to stay in for a parcel delivery in the last year, with one in eight (13%) spending more than a full working day away from work.

After parcel deliveries, people are most likely to take time off to wait in for boiler repairs or installations.  Two in five (41.27%) say that in the last year they had to stay home waiting for a boiler engineer or installation with almost 31 million hours taken off work for this reason alone.  Twice as many people have stayed in to wait for a boiler engineer or installation than they have for decorators/carpenters. Over two thirds (69%) say they stayed in for boiler work but the engineer did not arrive on time, with more than half of these then having to wait more than 3 hours.

League table of reasons that people take time off work to wait at home

Parcel deliveries (including recorded deliveries) 68.06%
Boilers (Boiler engineer/installation) 41.27%
Supermarket delivery 41.17%
Furniture (sofas, beds, etc.) being delivered 41.02%
Kitchen appliances/white goods/oven being delivered 38.57%
Internet connection set up 37.48%
Plumbers 35.03%
Electrician 34.23%
Handyman/ repairman 33.83%
Decorators/carpenters 18.81%
N/A I have never had to stay at home for a delivery or tradesperson 10.78%

Simon Phelan, Founder and CEO, Hometree said:

“The UK is a ‘Nation in Waiting’ with more than 103 million working hours wasted each year because people are forced to take time off to wait at home for deliveries, tradesmen or repairs. It’s simply shocking that 30 million hours are taken off work waiting in for boiler repairs alone. This is time wasted at huge cost and demonstrates that home industries have failed to keep up with what consumers’ need. It is time we embrace technology to put consumers in control of their home which is why  at Hometree we ensure people can find their boiler online or over the phone, book in their boiler installation with a Gas Safe Engineer  who will arrive (on time) and if needed, complete a virtual survey before they arrive so that when they’re completing the repair it is as efficient as possible. It’s time to end people having to waste time waiting in.”

Hometree is the first online-led boiler installation service which aims to change the culture of the boiler market from being engineer first to customer first.  It offers customers the best of both worlds – buying a boiler online or over the phone for a competitive and transparent cost, as well as the reliability of an installation with a highly qualified Gas Safe engineer. Customers don’t have to wait for sales assessments and installation dates. Video chat appointments with a qualified Engineer (on mobile, tablet or browser) ensures there are no surprises on the day a customer chooses for their installation.