Impact of COVID-19

Digital Consumer Trends 2020

15 minute read

Digital Consumer 2020 - Lockdown behaviour

What impact if anything has COVID-19 and the lockdown had?

While we have seen a decrease in the daily usage of the smartphone, daily usage of laptops has increased significantly from 69% to 76%, while desktop daily usage is down from 66% to 59%, this most likely reflects changes in usage patterns of employees for certain devices while working from home during the national lockdown, when 45% of respondents worked from home. This compares to only 37% in the UK and Australia and 29% in Sweden.

40% of Irish workers claim it is easier to work from home compared to only 26% for UK workers. 45% of women found it easier compared to men at 35%.

61% did not purchase any devices as a result of spending more time at home. This may reflect lack of budget and unavailability of devices. Some households may also have dusted off formerly unused devices, e.g. game consoles. There was a consistently high percentage across a number of countries including the UK, Australia and Sweden.

The lockdown and working from home did bring some challenges for respondents. The main challenges included:

  • distraction by others in the household (33%),
  • less face to face interactions (30%) and
  • a lack of access to a comfortable workspace (25%).

Irish workers had more challenges with adopting to the technology as 40% of respondents reported that they had some difficulties in relation to tech reliability. This was only 27% for the UK. Access to tech and the working environment were also major challenges as over 50% of respondents reported difficulties in both areas.

Over a quarter of those working from home were working longer hours, with 50% of higher earners (>€84,000) working more than usual.

Figure 1. Working from home situation during lockdown

Figure 2. Working from home attitudes: 45% of Irish workers have worked from home during the pandemic. 40% of respondents claim it is easier to work from home than the office; 37% found it more difficult; almost a quarter saw no difference.


Figure 3. Devices bought during lockdown: 61% did not purchase any devices as a result of spending more time at home. This may reflect lack of budget and unavailability of devices. Some households may also have dusted off formerly unused devices, e.g. game consoles.


Figure 4. If we think about the barriers to WFH: 30% of those working from home missed F2F interactions, 33% were distracted by others in the household, 25% didn’t have a comfortable working space and 22% worked longer hours due to working from home.


Figure 5. Based on ComReg Quarterly data reporting both fixed line and mobile minutes have increased significantly from Q2 2019 and Q2 2020.

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John Kehoe
John Kehoe

Partner, Audit & Assurance
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Daryl Hanberry
Daryl Hanberry

Partner & Head of TMT
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Digital Consumer Trends 2020