Millions can’t work from home thanks to poor broadband

Plenty of folks might like to work from home, but millions of employees around the UK are being prevented from doing so by poor performance from their fixed or mobile broadband connection.

In fact, according to an online survey of over 2,000 adults (18+) from uSwitch, 25% of UK workers have had issues with either their fixed or mobile broadband services when working from home in the last year, and no less than four million folks have been prevented from remote working as a result.

And almost half of those (46%) who’ve suffered from the aforementioned serious connection issues have had problems which are so severe they said that they believed they’re no longer able to work from home while the situation continues.

The most common complaints amongst those working from home were that broadband speeds were simply too slow (in 32% of cases), with 18% going further and saying they had an intermittent connection (i.e. one that keeps dropping out completely).

One in five of those surveyed said that they had lost some manner of work opportunity or a business transaction thanks to shoddy broadband service, and equally, 20% said that they have now been prevented from remote working by their employer.

25% of respondents admitted they had to work late to make up for time lost due to broadband issues.

Money wasted

And a great deal of money has been spent in the last year forking out for alternatives to get a consistent internet connection for remote working purposes. Indeed, no less than £190 million has been spent in efforts which range from buying broadband signal boosters to actually switching ISPs, or heading out to a local café to use the Wi-Fi hotspot there.

Ewan Taylor-Gibson, broadband expert at, advised: “Before committing to remote working, employees should make sure their home office is ready for use. As a first point of call, it’s worth checking to see if you can get a more reliable connection such as fibre, which will give you faster speeds and reduce the risk of services cutting out.

“Next, fine-tune your work environment by making sure your router is away from devices that could interfere with the signal – like your TV – and be aware that working during peak traffic times, such as the evening, could have a notable impact on your internet speeds.”

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).