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Brits working from home held back by slow broadband

Wednesday, June 17th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Poor broadband is holding back the productivity of Brits who work from home, according to a new survey.

Research by gigabit broadband provider Hyperoptic suggests that people work longer hours at home but still feel they are more productive in the office, largely due to poor connectivity at home.

According to the Office of National Statistics, 4.2m people in the UK work from home for at least half of the working week, with millions more working from home occasionally.

Hyperoptic’s survey of 3,000 people found that 93% work longer hours at home thanks to the time saved by not commuting.

63% claimed they work an extra hour or more each day, but despite investing this extra time in work. they are held back by poor broadband, according to Hyperoptic.

Nearly three quarters (72%) of workers said they feel more productive in the office, mainly because of poor connectivity at home.

Of the 3,000 people surveyed, 90% said their home broadband is slower than their office business connection, with problems such as dropped video calls and time spent uploading and downloading files eating into their productivity.

Respondents claimed they would choose to work an extra day per week at home if they had better broadband.

'Work/life balance'

Steve Holford, Hyperoptic’s vice president of product marketing, said: “We see fast, reliable home broadband as vital for effective homeworking.

“As businesses move to data-driven cloud-based models, remote and homeworking becomes an option for an increasing amount of staff – giving them a better work/life balance, without necessarily impacting overall business efficiency.”

With more and more Brits choosing to work from home, it is “imperative” workers have the tools they need to be effective, he said.

“Poor home broadband means wasted time – slower responses, lags in resolving customer issues and disrupted remote meetings.

“As we look to the future, home broadband will no doubt start to become an issue for recruitment and HR professionals alike.”

Ian Burke, director of job website totaljobs.com, said: “Today’s jobseekers are increasingly looking for roles that offer flexible working practices.

“As we near full employment in the UK, employers need to ensure that their recruitment strategies are aligned with the mobile worker.

“By considering offering employee benefits, like homeworking, recruiters can maximise their chances of attracting the best talent.

“Of course, in order to make these kinds of arrangements and support a mobile workforce, a fast and reliable broadband connection is essential.”

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