An online survey consisting of 2,000 adults and conducted by uSwitch found that problems with internet connectivity is preventing more people from working at home. The survey showed that around four million people in the UK are prevented from working at home due to a poor fixed or mobile internet connection. Furthermore, around 46% of people in the UK faced problems with their internet connection that were so severe they were pessimistic about the prospects of working from home again whilst the situation continued. In addition, the situation resulted in one in five losing business and 25% of those who responded saying they had to work late to make up for the lost time. The study also showed that workers shell out more than £190 million looking for alternative ways to work given the problems – such as visiting a local café, switching between ISPs or buying a signal booster.
Ewan Taylor-Gibson, broadband expert at uSwitch, advised:
“Before committing to remote working, employees should make sure their home office is ready for use. As a first point of call, it’s worth checking to see if you can get a more reliable connection such as fibre, which will give you faster speeds and reduce the risk of services cutting out.
Next, fine-tune your work environment by making sure your router is away from devices that could interfere with the signal – like your TV – and be aware that working during peak traffic times, such as the evening, could have a notable impact on your internet speeds.”
Till Sommer of the Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) said: “The research by uSwitch highlights the importance of good connectivity for people who want to work from home. Through the investment of our members, the availability of superfast broadband has been pushed up to over 92% of UK premises. ISPA believes that this investment has significantly contributed to that fact that the number of people who usually work from home has increased by a fifth in the last decade.”