Only half of UK employees have access to remote working technology


Only 50 per cent of UK organisations provide enough mobile technology to enable remote working for their employees, suggesting that a lack of investment in UC tools is limiting the benefits and efficiencies that remote working offers, according to a new study.

The survey of over 12,000 employees across 17 countries, commissioned by workplace solutions specialist Steelcase, found that only half of British workplaces currently accommodate remote working – 6 per cent less than the global average.

Furthermore, twice as many employees have access to fixed technology, such as landlines and desktop PCs, compared to those that can use mobile devices and laptops.

According to the survey, only 39 per cent of UK workers are provided with a laptop, compared to 77 per cent who have a desktop computer. Worryingly, only 38 per cent have access to a work mobile phone, compared to 91 per cent with a fixed landline. UK employees are also not been given the opportunity to use their own devices for work – the BYOD phenomenon – with only 31 per cent of companies allowing employees to use their personal devices in the office. As a result, nearly one-third (29 per cent) of employees are unhappy with the IT and telecoms equipment provided by their employer.

Despite this, UK employees are keen to work more flexibly, according to the study, with 17 per cent saying they have already adopted remote working (spending less than 40 per cent of their time behind a desk), which is more than twice the global average. Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) said they work remotely at least once per week, while one in 10 do so daily.

“With the array of innovative technology on the market today, it’s surprising that so many workers are still tied to their desks, with just a desktop computer and landline provided by their employer,” commented Bostjan Ljubic, VP at Steelcase UK & Ireland.

He added: “The most engaged workers are those who have more control over their work experience, including the ability to work in the office, at home, or elsewhere. Studies have shown that increased engagement means greater productivity, innovation and employee retention – factors which impact business performance and ultimately the bottom line. With demand for remote working set to increase, employers would be wise to invest in the right tools and technology now, or they could be left behind.”


About Author

Gary Eastwood

Gary Eastwood has over 15 years of experience as a technology and business journalist and editor. He has held editorship positions on customer magazines for Microsoft, CSC, and EDF, as well as on B2B magazine Mobile Enterprise. He is the former Deputy Editor of Computer Business Review. In a freelance role, Gary has contributed numerous features and articles to a broad range of publications, including New Scientist, Computer Weekly, MIS, Marketing Week, Corporate Financier, Real Business, Wireless Business Review, and driven marketing communications projects for clients, such as Intel, the Confederation of British Industry, IBM, Logicalis, the Department of Trade & Innovation, and many others. Gary has written many white papers on a range of ITC subjects for Datamonitor. He is also an editorial photographer and business videographer, and has authored and ghost-written four books on photography. He is the Co-Director of EastwoodMiddleton Publishing, which provides contract/customer magazines for a growing list of clients, and publishes the B2B magazine for business leaders, Strategist.