4 million stay-at-home workers during the Summer's Festivities

2.4 million hours of travel a day saved by those working from home during London’s busiest period
O2 launches mobile broadband Pocket Hotspot to cater for next generation of home workers

There has been a 50% increase in the number of people working flexibly and an increase of 30% in those who are working from home during London’s busiest period to avoid travel issues according to research undertaken this week by O2 Pocket Hotspot. This means that millions of workers will work from home for the first time over the next two weeks.

Eight in ten employees say they will work flexibly at some points during the festivities, varying their hours to travel later or earlier than usual, with a similar proportion saying that they will work from home at some stage.

That means that 4 million people will work from home at some stage over the two week period and a similar number will work flexibly on specific days during that time – with around 1.5 million working from home on any given day. It is estimated that one in eight companies across London is encouraging or has arranged working from home or flexible working practices for its employees.

During these two weeks it is estimated that up to 2.4 million hours a day are being saved by those working from home and not using public transport. Workers estimate that their daily commute takes 49 minutes each way on average – equating to a huge saving in time and a burden taken off the transport network.

O2 is launching Pocket Hotspot into the mobile pocket broadband market to cater for the growing numbers of people who want to be able to “work from anywhere”. The expectation is that it will be used by office workers who now boot up and log in from coffee bars, parks and gardens as stay-at-home workers need to be in touch with the office during the busiest periods this summer – and beyond.

Gary Booker, GM Consumer at O2 says:
“This week we’ve truly become a nation of mobile workers. For huge numbers of people, where they work doesn’t matter if they are productive – and employers have embraced that philosophy. The technology now means that people can be in touch with the office, each other and their clients whenever and wherever they’re located. That trend has really come into its own during the past couple of days and it will last for the next couple of weeks – as the traffic shifts from the transport network to the country’s mobile and broadband networks.

Services like O2 Pocket Hotspot put broadband in peoples’ pockets, meaning that they can be online wherever they’re working – from home, a local coffee shop or, who knows, maybe even their gardens if the weather improves.”

The shift is a reflection of London’s new working culture, O2 found. Outside this summer’s festivities, six in ten workers (59%) spend at least some time working flexibly while over half (52%) work from home at least some of the time. The numbers suggest that of the 5 million people employed in the Capital, half have flexible practices built in to their contracts.

O2 Pocket Hotspot is the mobile network’s new light-weight device and tariff that will enable anyone to get a “Wifi Hotspot in their pocket”. The new device enables up to five devices to connect simultaneously, sharing mobile internet access. The new device will come with two Pay & Go data options: a daily top-up and 1GB or 2GB bundles (both of which have a 30 day term).

Offering a Pay & Go mobile Wifi solution means that O2 Pocket Hotspot customers can get some of the most competitive rates available for mobile internet access without having to sign up to 12 month (or longer) contracts.

-Ends

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For more information contact:

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About O2 in the UK
O2 is the commercial brand of Telefónica UK Limited and is a leading communications company with over 23 million customers – read more about O2 at www.o2.co.uk/news. O2 runs 2G and 3G networks and was the first to trial 4G/LTE, reaching speeds of over 100Mpbs, as well as owning half of Tesco Mobile. It also operates O2 Wifi, O2 Health, O2 Unify, O2 Media and has recently launched the O2 Wallet. O2 employs over 11,000 people in the UK, has 450 retail stores and sponsors The O2, O2 Academy venues and the England rugby team. Telefónica UK Limited is part of Telefónica Europe plc which uses O2 as its commercial brand in the UK, Ireland, Slovakia, Germany and the Czech Republic and is a business division of Telefónica SA.