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Nearly five months after lockdown was ordered in the country, British businesses are adapting to a new normal of a hybrid workforce with the majority of workers connecting from home. But with connectivity in the home at an all-time high, research from Zen Internet has found that experiences are mixed, leading to potential losses in time and money.
Surveying more than 1,000 people in the UK who are currently working from home, the broadband service provider found that those who have experienced an unreliable internet connection – nearly nine in 10 (89%) home workers – waste an average of just over 30 minutes a day as a result, with one in eight of that group (12%) losing an hour or more.
Overall, more than four-fifths of those that work from home (84%) revealed they have suffered from an unreliable internet connection, and similar numbers (86%) have been hit with slow internet speeds.
Zen suggested that one of the reasons so-called “Gen WFH” may be struggling with connectivity is because of increased demand for bandwidth in the household. More than half (57%) the respondents revealed their internet has been noticeably slower as a result of other people also accessing the service while they are working.
Almost half (45%) the respondents believed the impact of slow or unreliable internet connection either could cause, or is causing, frustration for staff in the business they work for. This is just ahead of a loss of business productivity (38%) and loss of work, such as documents not saved on online systems (29%).
Despite these challenges, Zen found that the lockdown has propelled workers to consider a more balanced lifestyle when it comes to where they work from. When thinking about their future working environment, over a quarter of respondents said that they would like a work balance between the office and the home (28%), while a similar number (26%) would like to continue having the option to work from home for the rest of their career.
In a warning to employers for future resourcing, over a fifth (23%) of respondents said they would choose a company that allowed working from home over one that didn’t. An eighth of the sample revealed they would like to return to the office on a full-time basis.
Read more about the post-lockdown workplace
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- Research reveals how coronavirus pandemic will likely change UK internet usage as increased use of online home working applications is complemented by commensurate rise in online education thus putting more strain on infrastructure.
- With networks becoming an increasingly critical part of business operations, network intelligence platform provider finds 65% of networking professionals felt extremely or somewhat concerned about their organisation’s network capacity during pandemic heights.
Assessing the trends that emerged from the research, Zen Business managing director Martin O’Donnell noted that the most successful businesses will be the ones that put the plans in place to get the most out of their people, from any location. “As a business leader, you want to ensure your employees have all the capabilities to do their job as effectively as possible, whether they come back to the office full-time or not,” he said.
“Linking employees directly to your corporate network while also providing those in poor-coverage areas with multi-connectivity solutions to bolster their internet means you can open up the benefits of office-based connectivity in their homes,” said O’Donnell. “This will go a long way to solving productivity issues they may be encountering caused by poor or unreliable connectivity.
“For the IT leader it will solve the even bigger challenges of providing secure, segregated and encrypted connectivity outside the office and simplified and centralised network management.”