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99% of people who work from home want better internet: What's being done?

Aimee Horgan-Briggs

Aimee Horgan-Briggs | Marketing Assistant

Monday 26th Nov, 2018

Research shows that almost all homeworkers in the UK would like faster, more reliable internet to help them in their work. But is anything being done to help them?

Being able to work from home is one of the main perks of working for yourself as a limited company contractor or freelancer. Advances in technology are being mooted as making remote working easier than ever, but a recent report has revealed that the reality is people's internet connections are not always strong enough for this to be the case.

Instead of paying for travel to face-to-face meetings, video calls with clients can be a huge perk of modern self-employment, while digital tax returns via the HMRC portal can save contractors a lot of time too.

But if homeworkers' web connections are not up to scratch, this is not necessarily going to be the case. So what is going to be done by the government and telecoms providers to resolve these issues and make conditions better for the UK's home-based limited company contractors?

Internet issues: The extent of the problem

According to research carried out by broadband provider CityFibre, more than three-quarters (78 per cent) of households in the UK are currently frustrated with their internet connections due to the poor speeds they receive. However, among homeworkers, this rose to 82 per cent, which is understandable if they are relying on these connections for their livelihoods.

As a result of these inadequate connections, 99 per cent of homeworkers told CityFibre that a better internet connection in their home would help to significantly benefit their working lives. In turn, their work-life balance could improve, as well as their overall job satisfaction.

Altogether, the UK was ranked 35th in the world in terms of its web connections, indicating that there is plenty of room for improvement.

With more people working from home than ever before, it is incredibly important that internet service providers and the government are working together to ensure fast, reliable broadband connections are delivered to contractors' and freelancers' homes.

Slow internet speeds during a video call could negatively impact a relationship with a client, and if limited company contractors are regularly prevented from completing their work to the highest standard, there could be a knock-on effect on the wider economy over time.

Greg Mesch, Chief Executive Officer of CityFibre, commented: "With the way we work increasingly blending our home and work lives, it has never been more important for people to understand what broadband connection they really get at home."

What is being done to make conditions better for home-based contractors?

One major issue that is affecting people's satisfaction with their home internet connections is that advertising from ISPs can often be misleading - something telecoms providers are calling on the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to clamp down on.

Further research from CityFibre found that almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of people in the UK believe they are receiving a full-fibre service from their broadband provider. However, just three per cent of the country's population actually has this service at present, showing that many are in the dark about what they are receiving.

CityFibre has been in talks with the ASA over introducing new rules regarding the appropriate use of the word 'fibre' in broadband advertisements, but action is also needed from the government to work with telecoms firms to deliver better broadband to people's homes.

There have been many reports over the past few years of superfast fibre broadband being rolled out to much of the UK, but not everyone has benefited yet - in particular, people living in rural parts of Britain can still struggle to  accessing internet speeds as fast as those in cities.

With self-employment common among agricultural workers, this can cause challenges, such as in filling in digital self-assessment tax returns, potentially putting contractors at risk of financial penalties for delays in submitting their returns. This is where PayStream can help, our team of tax experts are always on hand to provide helpful tax guidance and personal tax planning.

While this is certainly a gap in the rollout of faster broadband that needs addressing, the fact that 99 per cent of homeworkers are unhappy with their current internet connections means that more action is needed to make remote working just as easy and satisfying as office-based working given shifting workplace trends.

99% of people who work from home want better internet: What's being done?

Research shows that almost all homeworkers in the UK would like faster, more reliable internet to help them in their work. But is anything being done to help them?

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