The average Brit spends just five hours with their parents each month

Christopher | Mar 07 2024

Be honest: how much ‘quality time’ do you actually spend with your loved ones every month? In between work, life admin, socialising, and enjoying some all-important ‘me time,’ it can be easy for time to just slip away. And then when it comes to the end of a hectic month, you find that you’ve accidentally neglected your family and those closest to you without even realising it.

A recent survey proves this, too. We asked 1000 people a series of questions about time spent with certain relatives, including parents, children, grandparents, partners – and even pets. The aim? To encourage people to invest more time with the ones they love the most. Life is short, after all.

Let’s break it down per relationship…

How much time do Brits spend with their parents?

While you may think that you hang out with your folks a fair amount, unfortunately, the survey results beg to differ. Rather, the poll revealed that 17% of Brits only spend 1 to 5 hours with their parents monthly. 

Turns out, British parents can vouch for this limited amount of quality time too, as 7% of them confirmed the 1 to 5 hours in the monthly calendar. There were some slightly luckier mums and dads out there, who admitted they get physical encounters 1 to 10 hours a month. However, the end result still isn’t as ideal as it could be.

Granted, these figures could all have to do with circumstances. For example, the Brits who spend less time with their folks may not necessarily live nearby. Or, they could be constantly travelling for work. Meanwhile, others could be at uni and therefore unable to check in with family as much as they’d like. (This doesn’t mean to say that they don’t pick up the phone to catch up on daily life, or FaceTime once a week to say hi, mind.)

But, in regards to the all-important face-to-face contact, it’s quite startling how little time is spent in this department…

How much time do Brits spend with their grandparents?

In terms of grandparents, the time spent with them overall is even less than that of parents. The study revealed that 11% of Brits admit to only seeing their grandparents for between 1 and 5 hours a month. This, of course, is scary, considering the limited amount of time we get with the third generation in the first place.

What’s interesting about the grandparents’ statistics (in regards to who sees them more and who sees them less) is that where you live can make the most difference. The poll showed that those from Yorkshire (2%) & Wales (2%) are the most likely regions to see their grandparents for more than 51+ hours a month. Whereas those from London (15%), Scotland (15%) and the South West (15%) are the most likely regions to only see their grandparents for 1-5 hours per month.

Again, while Yorkshire and Wales might make the most memories with their parents’ parents, the overall hours/stats are still pretty low. Along with your folks, it might be worth arranging a wholesome family getaway together, be it for a birthday celebration or simply a random weekend that works with your schedule. And with parents and grandparents being more likely to be retired, often, it’s only your diary that requires a bit of adjusting. That should make things easier, right? Plus, who needs an excuse to hang out with family, anyway?

How much time do Brits spend with their partners?

It would kind of make sense that, overall, the majority of Brits spend over 50 hours a month with their partners (42.3%). Especially if it’s a long-term relationship and you live together. 

Age – plus region – has a lot to do with these figures as well. For example, 38% of 25-39-year-olds spend over 50 hours a month with their other half, while it’s just one per cent more for the 40-59 age group. In contrast,  58% of the over-60s say they spend the majority of their time with their partner, which equates to over 50 hours a month. Of course, this is likely to do with retirement and the fact that relationship priorities shift over time.

When talking about location, the poll discovered that the East of England is the area where people are most likely to see their partner for over 50 hours a month. The results showed that almost half of those surveyed chose this option. Meanwhile, the North East is the area most likely to spend just 1-5 hours with their partner per month.

How much time do Brits spend with their colleagues?

While this one is pretty shocking, it’s also kind of expected. Considering that people who live the traditional office 9-5 life typically spend eight hours a day, five days a week with those they work with. 

According to the poll, it was found that a fifth of Brits spend over 50 hours a month face-to-face with their colleagues. When compared to the parent statistics, it was found that just 6% spend the same amount of time with their folks. 

Whether you see your colleagues in person more actually depends a lot on where you live and how old you are, though. We found that 17% of Londoners only see their colleagues between 1 and 15 hours a month – interesting to think given the capital is a work and opportunity hub. But, makes sense post-COVID, when the majority of office jobs now operate on a work-from-home or hybrid basis. On the other end of the scale, Yorkshire workers spend the most time in person with their colleagues, with 28% spending more than 51+ hours a month with them.

When looking at the lives of the youngest Brits (18-24), the work figures clearly apply to this generation the most. Aside from spending 48% of their time alone (which we’ll dive deeper into in a sec) the relation they spend the next highest amount of time with are colleagues (29%). In closing, all regions – except the East Midlands – are most likely to spend over 51+ hours a month with their colleagues.

Don’t you think these scenarios highlight the importance of spending quality time with those at work outside the workplace? From allowing colleagues to get together to build and maintain good relationships not just behind a screen, to seeing them outside of the office in a more casual and non-professional environment, it’s beneficial for good mental health and work productivity.  

How much time do Brits spend alone?

Yes, we all love some alone time. What’s better than a hot bubble bath, a good book and a cheeky glass of wine to unwind after a long working week? But at the end of the day, humans are social beings, so it’s quite scary to think that 38% of Brits admit to spending the majority of their time alone.

Londoners were the bunch who scored the highest in terms of how much time they spend solo – almost half (48%) said 51+ hours every month were occupied by just ‘me, myself and I.’ This percentage was the same for the younger generation, who we mentioned earlier fly solo the most, spending over 50 hours a month alone.  

Then, the next age group to spend the most time on their own was 40-59-year-olds, with 41% of them spending over 50 hours a month on their tod. This is followed by 34% of 25-39 year olds, who are alone for 50+ hours every month.

However, the poll also revealed that the majority of regions spend the same amount of hours (51+) on their own.

So, what are we going to do about this?

Make some memories

Bottom line? The easy – and only – solution to spending more time with the ones we love is to commit to making more memories. It’s less stressful than one might think to take time out of a busy schedule to accommodate your closest family. And honestly, it’s important. Who wants to look back regretting all that overtime when you could’ve been enjoying a cuppa with your families instead? You can always make more money, but you can’t conjure up more time…

While the first steps might be to gather around the table together for a Sunday Roast, once you’ve wiped your diary for a longer period, you’ll realise that it’s easier than you thought to do it regularly. (Sidenote: no one can refuse a mound of roasted veggies, crispy roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, and a pool of piping hot gravy, anyway.)

But, if you need some inspiration for family get-togethers, according to a poll shared by The Independent, the top 15 things UK adults like to do with their loved ones include:

  1. Eating together
  2. Watching TV together
  3. Going on a day trip somewhere new
  4. Having a Sunday roast
  5. Visiting the beach
  6. Going away for the weekend
  7. Playing games together
  8. Having a movie night at home
  9. Going for a picnic
  10. Cooking together
  11. Going for a walk with the dog
  12. Going to the cinema
  13. Learning something new together
  14. Doing DIY together
  15. Going camping

All work, no play? Let’s change that

Like we said before, work relationships need to be well-nourished, too. Especially because colleagues are up there with those we spend the most time with.

Rather than sitting at a desk every day discussing the latest stats and figures, it’s critical for people to inject some kind of ‘recess’ into their work life.

It doesn’t matter if you take on a few days of team building or decide upon a weekend away with a hot tub, spa, pizzas, and some bubbly – de-stressing and forming great bonds with your co-workers and those above you is integral for a happy working life.

Your personal life matters

At the end of the day, there’s nothing more important than your relationships. They form who you are, connect you emotionally, and enrich your life full stop. Which means prioritising who you spend your time with is a non-negotiable.