Nic Serpell-Rand/Three

Need for strong internet connection keeps Brits indoors

Study from leading UK communications provider highlights that although a new normal is coming for a significant number of UK workers, so are new problems and the need to create a better work-life balance

Just as the UK government stumbled into a row as to whether workers who don’t need to travel to the office should actually do so, even after proving over the past 18 months or so that their internet connections enable them to be productive at home, research commissioned by operator Three has revealed the challenges of working from home.

The survey of 2,000 employed adults in the UK, which was conducted by OnePoll between 15 and 21 July 2021, backed up the findings of other surveys by showing how people had witnessed significant changes to their lives over the past year-and-a-half, especially around the traditional nine-to-five working day, and how remote working is fast becoming the new normal for many people.

While this offers many benefits, the research said it also presents new issues, including an elongated working week and a reliance on connectivity, leaving many with no option but to stay indoors.

Of those surveyed, many said they were now working four or five hours longer on average each week and 82% said the need for a strong internet connection was keeping them tethered to home. A majority (66%) of respondents said working from home had had a positive impact for them, yet just under half (48%) said it had negatively impacted their mental health as result of being stuck indoors (35%), feeling less connected to colleagues (34%) and finding it harder to switch off (25%).

It is not surprising, therefore, that two-thirds (67%) of those surveyed said they were open to a change of scenery in search of a more inspirational working setup (48%). Nearly half (47%) said getting outside helped to keep them motivated, but when it came to getting work done they were stuck indoors due to the need for reliable internet access. 

To demonstrate how its 5G infrastructure can be accessed away from the home, Three is showcasing how workers can create a connected work-life balance through a 5G connected workspace on the beach in Margate. It has set up a pop-up workspace complete with beach hut and surrounding desk chairs (deckchairs with attached desk and parasol), which will be open from 5-11 August. It is free for all and is said to be fully kitted out with everything people need for a home-away-from-home office.

“A majority of us are still trying to settle into this new approach to working life,” commented Aioslinn O’Connor, director of marketing for UK and ROI at Three. “Reliable connectivity is the key to us being able to unlock everyone’s perfect work-life balance. The strength of our network provides our customers with the confidence to get outdoors this summer and find new locations to inspire and motivate them at work. Whether it’s the beach, the dales or the coffee shop around the corner, we will keep you connected so you can happily work and play.”

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