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Oxfordshire revealed as the flexible working capital of Britain

Oxfordshire has been revealed as the flexible working capital of Britain, with more residents in the region regularly working from home than in any other part of the UK, according to research.

A quarter of employees in Oxfordshire work from home, also known as ‘telecommuting’. Half spend an equal amount of time between their own homes and a shared office. When compared to other counties in the UK, where on average only one in ten people work from home – less than half the number in Oxfordshire – the region is clearly streets ahead when it comes to flexible working.

Research into the working habits of over 2,000 UK office workers, commissioned by Oxfordshire-based ultrafast rural broadband provider, Gigaclear, also revealed the significant impact this has on productivity. Over 85 percent of Oxfordshire employees notice a boost in their productivity when working from the comfort of their own property. Over a third say their productivity more than doubles compared to when they are based in an office environment.

The reasons why employees are more productive include taking fewer breaks (38 percent), being able to start work earlier (38 percent) and producing a better quality of work (26 percent).

The research reveals the top reasons why workers prefer working from home. These include the time saved commuting (41 percent), the flexible working hours (36 percent) and fuel cost savings (35 percent).

Over 10 percent believe a better internet connection at home helps productivity, which is why Gigaclear has been working in partnership with West Oxfordshire District Council to provide ultrafast full fibre broadband to 11,000 rural homes and businesses, to further support the regions telecommuting credentials.

James Lowther, Chief Marketing Officer at Gigaclear, said: “A good internet connection is about much more than simply enjoying ultrafast speeds. As the research shows, it has a huge impact on all aspects of our lives, from helping support a healthy work-life balance and boosting productivity, to giving us the freedom to work remotely when we need to. This is why we are committed to delivering full fibre broadband to some of the most remote communities in Oxfordshire. By giving them access to speeds of up to 900Mbps, we can empower communities and give everyone the choice to work from home if they want to.”

Health and happiness are also big benefits of working from home. Over 90 percent admit they feel it has a positive influence on their mental and physical health. Feeling more relaxed (38 percent), more in control (27 percent), less stressed (24 percent) and less anxious (21 percent) are the main advantages.

A third feel calmer, while a quarter believe they are more focussed when working from home. The same number believe this way of working makes them happier, while a staggering 67 percent take less time off work sick when they can telecommute.

Giving employees the freedom to regularly work from home doesn’t just benefit productivity and health, it also helps local businesses attract the very best talent.

Over 40 percent of people in Oxfordshire would be put off applying for a job role if they couldn’t work from home – compared to the UK average of 22 percent of people – while 65 percent have turned down a job because the commute was too far.

More than half believe the ability to work from home is an employee perk, while a quarter go one step further to say it should be a right for all employees.

James Lowther concludes: “As one of the fastest-growing broadband companies in the UK, we’re proud to be based in Oxfordshire, the most advanced region for telecommuting. Better broadband not only gives people more flexibility in how and where they work, it also helps local businesses to attract and retain the most talented professionals.”

For more information about Gigaclear, please visit www.Gigaclear.com

Top UK Regions for Working from Home:

1. Oxfordshire – 25%
2. Warwickshire – 20%
3. Norfolk – 18%
4. Hampshire – 17%
5. West Midlands – 13%

Worst UK Regions for Working from Home:

1. Aberdeenshire – 5%
2. Lancashire – 6%
3. Yorkshire – 6%
4. Lanarkshire – 7%
5. Edinburgh/ Midlothian – 8%

About Gigaclear: Gigaclear designs, builds and operates a full fibre, ultrafast broadband network in rural areas across central and southern England. Established in 2010, our network now reaches more than 200 communities across 20 counties – and growing. We are working hard to provide rural properties, farms and businesses with the UK’s best broadband speeds. Gigaclear’s full fibre ultrafast network transforms communities by allowing residents to benefit from fast, reliable broadband speeds in an ever progressive online world.

Gigaclear designs and builds its new networks to rural communities where there is a need for better broadband using commercial investment. In some communities we are working with Local Bodies to deliver this essential service with subsidy under the Building Digital UK (BDUK) scheme.