Working from home

Almost half of workers have given up on what they’re working on due to bad connections, also resulting in lost time, opportunities and clients.

According to a survey conducted by Opinium on behalf of uSwitch, 43% of UK employees had worked from home at least once in the last year which rises to 55% amongst those aged 18-34. 17% claim to always work from home.

Home workers are most likely to use their broadband connection to email colleagues or clients (76%), research and browse the internet (69%), share files via the cloud (39%) and stay in touch via Skype (34%). However, 25% of UK employees have experienced issues with their broadband or mobile services when working from home in the last year.

A further 46% have ended up giving up what they are working on due to experiencing such severe problems with the most common complaint being that the connection was simply too slow for them to work effectively (32%).

The most common issues experienced were being unable to send a large file to a colleague or client (20%), working late to make up the lost time (25%) or losing an opportunity or business (20%). As a result of the problems, a further 20% stopped working from home.

In total, it is estimated that workers have spent a combined total of £190 million finding alternative ways to work around poor broadband or mobile reception in the last year, trying to ensure consistent access to internet and phone services. Almost a fifth (17%) switched providers to improve their service while others visited local cafes to use the WiFi or purchased a signal booster (both 16%).

Unfortunately, 16% have missed a deadline and 13% lost a client as a result of bad connections. A further 9% have been on a conference call to a colleague or client that has cut out.

32% of mobile users complained that their reception was patchy, while 11% couldn’t get any reception while being in their home. Despite this, the majority of workers (55%) admitted that they didn’t check the network’s coverage map before signing up to their service, to check the indoor signal in their area.


Read more about our research here.