By Claire West

British workers will spend nearly 10 hours each logging on to work from home during their Christmas holiday time, according to a new research report by Demon Broadband.

Demon surveyed UK broadband users about their work plans over the Christmas holidays and found that a whopping one in six people intend to do some work from home on Christmas Day this year.

‘Always-On’ Britain

85% of respondents claimed that there was a likelihood they would work from home during the Christmas period*. Of these respondents, 61% confirmed they definitely will be. With the number of respondents who said they worked from home last Christmas season significantly lower at 74%, this year’s figures are set to establish a new upward trend for remote working.

For a massive 99% of those who are going to be working from home over the Christmas holidays, working hours are predicted to take place during their annual holiday leave. And a small number (4%) admitted that they would be working, on average, for longer than a normal office working day, logging in for over eight hours each time despite technically being on holiday.

On average workers will log in six times during their annual leave over the Christmas period spending an average of 1.6 hours working each time. Workers will therefore spend nearly ten hours each working despite being on leave. This suggests that the new trend for remote working encourages staff to log on more regularly, but that they are able to work for shorter periods of time. This allows them the freedom to work at their convenience for as long or short a time that they need in order to ensure pressing work activity is managed.

Home and work life boundaries

The results of the survey indicate that as technologies such as high speed broadband become more advanced and accessible, business people are taking the opportunity to keep up with work activities and manage operations from the comfort of their own home — even during the festive holidays. Four in ten respondents said that they would be logging in more regularly over Christmas than they would have done had they not been able to work remotely, revealing the growing dependence on flexible working and the technology to support it.

Almost everybody (95%) working from home said they would be sending and receiving work emails; over two thirds (68%) will be accessing files and documents on the business network through a remote connection; 30% will be making the most of ‘the cloud’ to access files and documents over the internet; 45% will be working from files saved on the desktop or USB/CD or similar device; and just over half of respondents (53%) will also be making business phone calls.

Getting the balance right

Matt Cantwell, Head of Demon commented: “We’ve identified a growing trend for Brits to work from home even at the unlikeliest of times. As a nation we’re no longer restricted by set working hours and are often the most productive when working whenever and wherever suits us best. It’s also clear that we’re increasingly dependent on technology to support our preference for flexible working. With tube strikes, winter illness and the ongoing snow chaos, remote working is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but a necessity.”

”We can see from our research that new technologies, such as smartphones and faster internet connections, are allowing more people to work from home when they need to, helping them to manage their work/life balance. Whilst these technologies can mean we’re constantly connected they also give us the much needed flexibility to keep on top of our work without having to disrupt family life by leaving for the office.” concluded Cantwell.