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Call for better web access for UK's growing homeworking population

Wednesday 28th June, 2017
Limited Company
There has been a 25 per cent increase in the number of people who regularly work from home over the past ten years, thanks in part to more workers becoming self-employed and working for themselves as limited company contractors or freelancers.

New figures compiled by Virgin Media show that almost one-third (31 per cent) of UK workers now work from home at least one day a week, while more than half (58 per cent) think this is an ideal set-up.

If this many workers did indeed work from home at least once a week, 15.6 million people could be putting in 19.4 billion hours working from their property each year by as soon as 2022, Virgin Media predicted. Currently, people spend 10.2 billion hours working at home per year.

With homeworking increasing in popularity, there are calls for contractors, freelancers and others who are based at home to be given access to improved internet connections as soon as possible.

In fact, 71 per cent of survey respondents said they thought access to a good broadband connection was very important, more so than being able to use a phone while at home, which was cited as essential by just 54 per cent of those questioned in comparison.

Fast and reliable connections are especially important at peak times, with the research showing that 20 per cent of homeworkers use the internet most between 10am and 12pm, 18 per cent from 8am to 10am and 12 per cent are most active online between 12pm and 2pm.

Kerris Bright, Chief Marketing Officer at Virgin Media, commented: "Our research shows that homeworkers depend on having a good broadband connection. As it consults on more robust broadband advertising rules, the ASA must consider Britain's growing army of homeworkers and require companies to advertise average speeds across a full day."

Other factors that were rated as important by homeworkers included peace and quiet (by 54 per cent of respondents), a comfortable workspace (also desired by 54 per cent), access to a kettle (40 per cent) and on-hand snacks (21 per cent).

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