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TalkTalk Survey Claims Homeworking Boosts UK Productivity

Thursday, Sep 17th, 2020 (12:01 am) - Score 1,496
home working

A new survey commissioned by broadband ISP TalkTalk has found that 58% of workers in the UK said they had been more productive as a result of working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown, while 52% never expect to return to the office full time. Internet traffic on the provider’s network also remains above normal.

New network data from TalkTalk shows that their customers’ internet usage rose 39% between August 2019 vs August 2020, although to be fair data consumption does tend to rise by quite a lot each year and that’s even without COVID-19. However, the ISP noted that usage hasn’t fallen away in the months since lockdown ended, suggesting a more permanent shift in working behaviour has taken place.

The data also found that at least one in six customers doubled their upload usage during lockdown, which is a key point since uploading is necessary for things like sending files via email or video conferencing and those tend to be commonly associated with work. On the other hand, family members will have also been making more use of video calls during the lockdown.

Summary of Key Findings

* More than half (58%) of workers in the UK said they had been more productive as a result of working from home while 52% never expect to return to the office full time.

* Nearly a third (30%) of business leaders said working remotely had made their teams more productive.

* 40% of consumers say they had watched online educational content during lockdown; 16% have enrolled in a full online educational course and a quarter (24%) have started to learn a language.

* A fifth of 18-24 year olds said their career prospects had improved during lockdown.

* One in 10 said they started an online side hustle during lockdown as a way to generate extra income.

* Reliable broadband (51%) was ranked as the second most important commodity during lockdown, beating online shopping deliveries (37%) and a large living space (24%), ranking only behind having a garden (59%).

* Some 81% of business leaders identified a fast, reliable broadband connection as a priority for effective home working. Likewise 40% of business leaders had provided financial support towards employees’ phone or broadband bills and the same number said that they had given £100-£200 to improve their employees’ home working environment.

* Business leaders expect to invest in ways to boost employee productivity while working from home, with 40% identifying digital skills and training and 23% naming broadband as a target area. 

Lockdown Lessons, which was put together by ‘Working the Future’ and included a ‘Fly Research’ study of 1000 participants and 250 business leaders completed in August 2020, is obviously reflecting somewhat of a vested interest for TalkTalk and their own business connectivity products.

Tristia Harrison, TalkTalk CEO, said:

“Lockdown Britain has seen a boost in skills and productivity for home workers, with unexpected lessons for how we emerge from the pandemic. As people have been working from home, they’ve also been learning: from new languages, to cooking, to IT skills. With flexible working we’re becoming so much more productive it seems that Britain is now getting five days’ work done in four, which is encouraging as we build back from the crisis.”

Vested interests aside, most studies do seem to agree that one lasting legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to be that more people will work from home now that so many businesses across the UK have been forced to adapt to a different way of doing things. Admittedly this kind of working isn’t viable for everybody, but it has helped to highlight the benefits for a lot of sectors (particularly those that require a lot of office staff).


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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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7 Responses
  1. Avatar photo André says:

    Well, they would say that wouldn’t they?

    Also, not quite sure how reliable self-reporting is as a metric of productivity. The number of biases must render this data all but useless.

    1. Avatar photo brett cooper says:

      Load of rubbish talktalk is most unreliable network,no landline and no Internet for 3 days talktalk is being cancelled at the end of the month,talktalk can f**k off.

  2. Avatar photo Phil says:

    I bet Zen wished they had done this survey, come on Zen, you’re slipping lol

    1. Avatar photo Archie says:

      Spot on. Haha!

  3. Avatar photo Brian Storey says:

    It may just me be but using the phrase “Lockdown Britain” with “more productive” doesn’t sound very encouraging to me with the way some business leaders think…

    A new tag line to follow

    “Stay Home, work hard, grow the economy”

    Home working success is based on trust (both ways). It can be easily exploited leading to greater isolation.

  4. Avatar photo Michael read says:

    2 Mbps is a disgrace do something or my direct debit stops period

    1. Avatar photo Finchy says:

      Talk talk can’t magically fix your bad line. Stopping the direct debit will just put a black mark on your credit file.

Comments are closed

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