More people than you may expect work from home in the UK. Research carried out by the Office for National Statistics in 2014 showed that 13.9% of the United Kingdom’s workforce was based from home, whether that be as a self-employed individual, or employed by a company that allows home working.
With these figures in mind, it makes sense that a large proportion of this 13.9% would require broadband to carry out their work. The Trade Union Congress recently released statistics suggesting that a total of 1.5 million people work from home on a regular basis. These figures were compiled from surveys carried out during Work Wise Week 2016 – which took place between Sunday 15th and Saturday 21st May.
The aim of Work Wise Week is to promote more flexible work practices and to raise awareness for mobile and remote working, alongside the idea of working from home. Working from home can be an excellent method of maintaining a balance between work and home life. It negates the need to travel to work, removes the temptation to buy expensive lunches for work, and allows you to be completely flexible with your working hours.
All of these figures are very positive, and illustrate not only that some companies are thinking about ways that they can reduce their overheads and impact less on the environment, but also that many people are branching out on their own. These individuals are providing a service using their skills that benefits both their immediate family in terms of earnings, and also the local community.
One aspect of working from home that was highlighted by the TUC analysis, and by surveys carried out showed that many who do work from home suffer from a slow internet connection and that it can have a negative impact on both the quality and quantity of work produced.
Not only that but as well as slow internet connections, people working from home were suffering from other issues such as connections dropping out completely. This can be a frustrating problem to have to negotiate, as constantly rebooting your router breaks concentration, and having to constantly talk to customer service about your faulty connection is also stressful.
Research shows that of those who do work from home, 90% stated that a good broadband speed and reliable connection is imperative for working from home. In order to carry out their work to the best of their ability and without being delayed, a steady, speedy broadband connection is required.
Of those questioned, over 25% stated that they found video conferencing a no-no as their connection could not cope with the bandwidth required, and even simple tasks like uploading images or videos prevented home workers from completing their tasks when required.
In total, it was discovered that just over 20% of those asked felt that their broadband connection was inadequate, and just over 5% admitted that poor broadband connection speed was the reason they didn’t work from a home office.
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If your broadband is slow, then there are few things you can do to check if it is a problem with your equipment or connection before you start to spend precious time on making phone calls to your provider.
If you are utilising a wireless connection, then make sure your router is in an elevated position. This allows the wireless signal to reach slightly further, as well as placing it in a more central vertical position – meaning that you can benefit from the broadband upstairs and downstairs. If possible, carry out any work in the same room as the router.
Carrying out a speed test can assist in determining whether the problem is your computer equipment, modem, phone line, or if the problem lies with the exchange. Ookla offers a speed testing service which measures the rate at which your computer can communicate with the exchange, the speed of downloads, and the speed of uploads. If something looks amiss, contact your service provider.
You can purchase good quality routers at low prices online. The router your ISP sends you is not going to be high quality, whatever they say. You should invest in a good quality router, preferably one which has wireless antennae, so that the signal can be directed and maintains a steady quality of the connection.
If you feel like your current broadband provider doesn’t cut the mustard, then contact us and see not only what packages are available, but also how much you can save on cheap broadband deals.