Working at home option closer due to broadband
Ireland is edging towards a culture of home working as broadband speeds improve, new research published yesterday by UPC has found.
“Want to make money without leaving your house?” ask flyers stuck to lampposts and noticeboards. The broadband provider’s report on Ireland’s Digital Future concludes that the majority of people do.
Six out of 10 consumers surveyed by Amárach Research on behalf of UPC said they would like to work from home one or two days a week, while four in 10 said they believed office work would eventually become “a thing of the past”.
A third admitted they are already blurring the lines between their personal lives and their jobs by going online at home for work purposes – a phenomenon that has been dubbed “the merge”.
However, most of those who go online at home do so for activities such as checking emails or working on reports, rather than bandwidth-intensive activities such as video-conferencing with colleagues or clients. Some 44 per cent of the 1,000 people surveyed in August said their broadband speed was insufficient for their future needs.
Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte said this finding was “already on the way to being out of date” following the announcement yesterday of the fourth generation (4G) spectrum auction, which will lead to the introduction of 4G mobile services in 2013.
UPC chief executive Dana Strong said there was a need for the Government to “stay focused” on delivering a positive environment for telecommunications infrastructure.
The UPC report labels Irish people “digital optimists” and forecasts that the internet will contribute €11.3 billion to the economy in 2016, up from €4.7 billion in 2010, if current trends are maintained.
The report comes in the same week as the creation of 50 jobs at the Dublin office of cloud and mobile computing technology firm LogMeIn – its service offers employees the ability to access their work computers from anywhere.
However, there are signs that workers are not ready to sever the link with office life just yet. Although six in 10 of the 201 businesses questioned said they already had some permanent staff working from home, they were more likely to do so for one or two days than for longer working weeks.
When Ireland’s “digital optimists” are not busy earning money from home, they will be spending it, according to the repot. Online shoppers will part company with €5.7 billion, or 7 per cent of all consumer spending, in 2016, up from €3.7 billion, or 5 per cent, in 2012.
Although people aged 55-plus account for just 14 per cent of internet shoppers, this group’s purchasing power equates to a fifth of the total spent online.
average number of minutes adults spend online on weekdays (rising to 167 minutes on a weekend day)
of people who engage in “media multi-tasking” – using computer or mobile devices while watching
of people feel their broadband speed is sufficient for future needsE-tailing
of people agree the internet allows them to make smarter purchasing decisions
of people research purchases locally offline but buy them online
Working from home
of people go online at home for work purposes – 89% of them check work emails
of companies have some permanent staff working from home (at least one day a week)
of people say they are interested in working from home one or two days a week