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UK employees are swapping the city for market towns as hybrid working booms

Paul Lipscombe
June 9, 2021

UK businesses and employees seem overwhelmingly in favour of the hybrid working model, according to TalkTalk

The pandemic has influenced how UK employees are living, with research revealing many office workers are moving to market towns.

Research carried out by TalkTalk revealed 40 per cent of office workers have moved or considered moving during the pandemic.

And of this amount, 22pc would live more than an hour away from their office as their daily commute has disappeared due to remote working.

It comes as many UK businesses are keen for the hybrid model of working to stay.

Hybrid working allows for more flexible working, a mix between time spent in the office and at home.

A poll of 500 Business leaders found that 86pc of their employees welcome flexible working, while business leaders and employees are keen to be in the office two to three days a week.

It aligns well for office workers, with 80pc saying that flexible working is now a key criteria for accepting a new job.

Market towns

Since the pandemic, TalkTalk also revealed that market towns including Kingston (52pc), Guildford (52pc) and Dudley (49pc) have seen some of the largest increases of network data usage in the country since the start of 2020.

Reigate & Redhill (48pc), Chelmsford (48pc) and Dorchester (45pc) have also experienced significant growth.

When choosing where to live, respondents in the study said that living closer to family (27pc), finding a more suitable home working space (22pc) and living in a greener area (18pc) are the most important considerations.

Another vital necessity is fast internet access, with 85pc saying they’d be willing to pay more for a home with access to full fibre, high speed broadband.

And both employers (92pc) and employees (94pc) overwhelmingly agree that the new working week wouldn’t be feasible without fast reliable broadband at home.

TalkTalk Consumer and Business MD Jonathan Kini said: “With hybrid working set to continue, we’re investing more in keeping our network resilient to meet increased demand.

“And as part of our commitment to helping Britain build back, we’re rolling out full fibre plans to homes and businesses across the UK at pace – powering this new era of hybrid working.”

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