Broadband in Pandemic Home Shifts Work Styles, New Study Says

woman working from home on laptop

Broadband has been a driving factor in a shift in work from home attitudes, according to a new study. Hyperoptic and SAY Property Consulting have surveyed thousands of British households with the aim of quantifying the impact of the pandemic with regards to work styles and broadband connectivity. Let’s take a closer look at the findings of this study.


UK Workers Prefer Working From Home

The headline grabbing figure is that only 10% of UK workers have expressed a clear preference for returning to the office full time, regardless of pandemic or confinement rules.

While working from home is hardly a new concept, the confluence of broadband availability and health crisis conditions has led to many Britons trying it out for the first time. The verdict is clear: Once you’ve tried work from home, there is no going back.

The ability to work from home is greatly dependent both on the business sector and the IT infrastructure companies have in place to support their remote workforce.

It is patently clear that the option to work from home will become a key differentiator moving forward for companies who want to attract top talent. Those companies who are unable or unwilling to offer Work From Home as an option will inevitably get left behind.

Good Broadband Connectivity Is Crucial

With an overwhelming 49% of people expressing a clear preference for working from home, the reliability of home broadband has never been so paramount. This new priority impacts customer attitudes significantly and broadband providers need to sit up and pay attention.

Wi-Fi reliability is something that cannot be subpar under any circumstance, according to more than half of respondents. That percentage clearly shows that a majority of UK households are acutely aware of their broadband quality. As a result, over 40% of people voiced that they would be keen to switch broadband providers if it meant a more reliable connection.

This is no surprise considering that close to half of UK households see their broadband as an important part of the enjoyment of living in your home currently.

Another interesting statistic relates to broadband complaints varying widely between people living in houses and those living in flats. Let’s take a look at the numbers:

  1. 54% of complaints came from people living in houses
  2. 21% came from people living in traditional or conversion flats
  3. 19% came from build-for-sale flats
  4. 6% from build-for-rent flats

Taken at face value, it seems that build-for-rent flats have the best broadband service out of all the property options. However, what these numbers don’t take into account are demographic factors. It stands to reason that those living in build-for-rent flats will tend to be from to younger generations - more tech savvy, more willing to troubleshoot.

Another interesting figure in this study, which was co-sponsored by Hyperoptic, is that almost 12% of Britons overall have invested in broadband upgrades to boost the quality of the connection. When looking at specific business sectors, that number is higher with, for example, more than a third of estate agents and property managers investing in broadband upgrades.

Broadband and the Connected Nation

There is no longer any doubt that the UK is becoming a fully connected society. Almost 50% of Britons place streaming television in the top spot when it comes to a piece of technology they couldn’t live without.

While for those over 55, that figure exceeds 60%, younger generations are more much more likely to value video game consoles as the most valuable technology in their homes. This difference doesn’t take away from the importance of broadband in people’s lives. It just shows that various generations of Britons rely on it differently. Older people use it to consume a wide range of content on their televisions, while younger people connect with others through interactive experiences on screen.

These figures show the level of adoption when it comes to connected and on-demand home entertainment experiences. The question now is how these experiences shape people’s attitudes towards work and home life.

Here are the main predictions regarding what future home and work life will look like.

  1. Increased preference for remote work
  2. More interest in living in the countryside
  3. Private living space to decrease in order to accommodate shared amenities for co-working and exercise
  4. Good lighting and acoustic treatment and ventilation to become more important
  5. Home insulation upgrades will be necessary to balance energy efficiency and comfort
  6. Concierge services to become more valuable allowing households to manage their bills and better interact with property management.

What is clear from these predictions is that the writing is on the wall for office work. This is especially the case for companies that may have connectivity issues, bad acoustics or substandard amenities in their office spaces. Offering remote work, where possible, will be the silver bullet for companies struggling with employee retention.

When it comes to UK broadband providers, the pressure to provide better service comes not just from their customers but also from Ofcom who are pushing for an easier switching process for customers.

As remote work becomes increasingly the norm for a large part of Britain, the ball is firmly in the broadband companies’ court in terms of how they compete and level up their service and reliability standards.

Selectra is not affiliated with HyperopticSelectra is not a Hyperoptic partner or dealer. We aim to provide easy to understand information about UK Broadband so that customers can make informed decisions to fit their needs.

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