As Brits tackle the rising cost of living, new data released from Sky Connect – Sky’s B2B telecoms business – reveals that the majority (87%) of freelancers and remote workers are concerned about the impact working from home is having on their energy bills. In fact, more than three quarters (78%) said that January’s arctic blast made working conditions uncomfortable.
The Sky Connect study of 1,000 freelancers and remote workers in the UK found that nearly half (48%) have felt forced to work from an alternate location – including their local cafe, pub, or library – at least once due to the cost-of-living crisis.
When asked, remote workers cited saving money on heating costs (57%), saving money on energy bills (70%), avoiding commuter costs (27%) and not having to pay for expensive co-working spaces (27%) as the main reasons for turning to these alternate hospitality locations.
With the rising cost of living continuing to put a strain on the UK, remote and freelance workers are seemingly turning to small businesses for a warm and cost-effective place to work. But 72% said that in spite of relying on these alternate venues, unreliable connectivity has been a big concern when choosing where to work from.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. 70% said that they’d be more likely to work from alternate locations like their local cafe more regularly at least once a week, if they offered reliable guest Wi-Fi.
Stacey Hill, Director of Sales and Operations at Sky Connect said: “The cost-of-living crisis is a huge concern for consumers and small businesses alike. But for those spending the most time at home, increasing energy bills are understandably putting a strain on personal finances. Whilst it’s great to see these workers supporting their local small businesses during an increasingly challenging time for hospitality, it’ll be important that SMEs create a working environment that keeps these more regular customers coming back. This means offering a reliable and secure guest Wi-Fi service that improves customers overall experience”.
To support its small businesses in providing a safe and secure working environment to customers, Sky Connect has today launched its new Sky Connect Hub and automatic 4G backup with new capability including advanced cybersecurity and guest Wi-Fi. With the guest Wi-Fi capability, Sky Connect customers will be able to create a separate password protected network for visitors to their business premises. And, with Security Edge, customers will benefit from an advanced cybersecurity layer, with threats automatically scanned for every five minutes to protect any device connected to Wi-Fi against risks such as malware and phishing.
The Hub features Wi-Fi 6 technology – Sky Cannect’s most powerful Wi-Fi connection – which is one of the latest Wi-Fi solutions available in the market able to power up to 100 devices. The product is made from 85% recycled plastic and is Sky Cannect’s greenest ever Wi-Fi hub.
The new technology is part of the organizations commitment to innovation, looking at ways to improve the customer experience with products that meet the needs of small businesses.