18 November 2013

Will superfast broadband make homeworking the norm?

The rollout of superfast broadband in the UK will mean millions will turn their backs on commuting and work from home, according to the government

Access to high speed internet means millions more people will turn their backs on commuting and work from home, a government report claims.

Superfast broadband and better technology will boost an interest in flexible working and see fewer people travelling long distances to work. The study says this will give the population both more free time and more money.

The UK Broadband Impact Study predicts that in 10 years’ time most people will work from home for several days every month. It estimates that being able to use superfast internet at home will help save people in Britain £270 million, due to lower travel expenses, and free up 60 million hours every year by 2024.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller says the benefits will not just be economic but will see people’s lives change for the better.

Homeworking will reduce travel by billions of miles

The study claims better internet connectivity will see British workers reduce their business travel by 3.3 billion miles a year – around 9% of the current annual total.

It says: “As levels of connectivity at home improve, this will tend to encourage higher levels of working from home – the majority of which will be people working a few days per month from home, rather than teleworking full-time.”

The increase in teleworking is also expected to make it easier for certain sections of the population to take up part-time work, including older people, carers and the disabled.

The report states: “By avoiding commuting costs, the additional teleworking enabled by faster broadband will lead to total household savings rising to £270 million per annum by 2024. Faster broadband will enable businesses and individuals to change the way they do things.”

The research was carried out by analysts SQW with Cambridge Econometrics. It also claims homeworkers will spend £350 million less on commuting but their home heating bills are expected to rise by £80 million.

Investment in technology

Mrs Miller says: “What this report shows us is that, as well as super-fast broadband being good for economic growth, it will make even more of a positive impact on the way we live, helping us work more productively and get online faster.

“Our broadband roll-out is one of the best in Europe, with almost three-quarters of the UK able to access super-fast speeds. This is making a real difference to people in communities across the UK from small businesses able to expand, schoolchildren being able to log on to do their homework or people being able to work from home.

“This investment in technology is vital for our future and will help Britain continue to compete in the global race and improve the way we live and work.”

Co-working: great alternative to working from home

Co-working also offers a great alternative for people who want to work closer to home and avoid a long commute. At Bizspace, we are aiming to create a network of high quality co-working facilities around the UK, all equipped with high speed broadband, through our initiative ‘The Work Lounge’.

Co-working offers flexible working space for those who are not in a position to commit to rent their own business premises and those who travel for business, amongst others. It offers a professional environment and the opportunity to meet with other local businesspeople.

Our first co-working space is already up and running at The Pixmore Centre in Letchworth, Hertfordshire. More are due to open soon with Work Lounges planned for Manchester and Brixton. To keep up to date with our coworking rollout, please follow us on Twitter