A recent survey has reported that poor internet provision was the biggest hurdle to working remotely. As technology advances so does the ability to apply a more flexible approach to the workforce. So is bad broadband holding us back?
Throughout the Fix Bad Broadband campaign, lots of people have shared their stories about how a poor internet connection affects them. Some simply wishing they could Skype their grandchildren to keep in touch and others needing better broadband to manage their finances online since their local bank branch closed down.
Bad broadband has an impact on our daily lives, and one other aspect of this is how poor connectivity is affecting our work.
During our broadband roadshows in the summer, I met someone who was a freelance professional photographer. He told me how he’d bought his home a year ago and was led to believe he could access superfast speeds.
It turned out he could only get speeds of less than 2Mbps and his business suffered as a result. He couldn’t upload any pictures on his home connection and had to go and work elsewhere.
The impact on businesses run from home is a real problem. But a survey published last week looked at it from another angle; the ability to work remotely. Workspace provider Regus found that over a quarter (27%) cited ‘inadequate internet provision’ as their biggest hurdle to working remotely.
This is becoming a much more common trend in the workplace with technology enabling you to work from your home. It can do great things for people who may have dependents, caring responsibilities or very long commutes. For this flexible workforce, no longer does their job determine their location.
A different perspective I came across on this issue, during a Friday night debate amongst friends in the pub, is that broadband connection problems aside a more flexible workforce could blur the lines between a professional and personal life.
If you’re constantly a button away from being in the office then how do you control the work-life balance? While I’m not convinced that the struggles of striking a balance are enough of an excuse to avoid improving broadband connectivity, it’s certainly an interesting debate.
I’m interested to hear from you on this. Do you rely on a good broadband connection for work? Do you think our workforce is being held back by bad broadband?