Research from communications regulator Ofcom shows that the UK is spending more time online than ever and data from TalkTalk Business echoes these findings, with business’s reliance on connectivity increasing by a third since April 2020.

Ofcom’s latest Online Nation reveals that since the pandemic started, UK adults are online for an average of 3 hours 47 minutes every day – over an hour longer than adults in France, and an hour less than US counterparts.

The report also shows that with the UK in lockdown for much of 2020, this impacted consumer behaviour and online shopping sales rose by a staggering 48% to an estimated £133bn, with food and drink sales enjoying the most significant growth.

As the highstreets were shut, consumers flooded online, and businesses had to ensure they had the reliable, resilient connectivity infrastructure in place to support the increase in demand. This trend is supported by data from TalkTalk Business which reveals that in 2020, almost 10,000 of our business customers upgraded to higher bandwidth products to allow them to accommodate new ways of working and doing business.

Clearly, with the office out of bounds for most of us last year, working habits had to evolve. Thankfully, businesses were supported by technology throughout lockdown, with video calling platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams being widely adopted to ensure that we could stay in touch with colleagues and keep the economy moving during the crisis.

The rise of both these platforms was remarkable, with Zoom’s user base rising from a few hundred thousand in the first two months of 2020, to over 13 million by May, and Teams’ user base growing by over five million year on year, with 13.7 million users as of March 2021.

Bandwidth-hungry applications like Teams have now become the norm for many businesses, so it’s no surprise that data usage rose considerably in this time too. Our latest Internet Insights report shows between April 2020 and April 2021, combined upload and download data usage among TalkTalk Business customers rose by a massive 33%.

Reliable, resilient connectivity is becoming more and more vital in every aspect of our lives: it’s impacting not only how we shop and work, but it’s even playing a role in determining where we choose to live! The daily commute has become a thing of the past, and technology is enabling us to work just as productively from home as the office, which is why many are moving further away from the office to enjoy life in suburban and rural areas.

In our survey of 2,000 office workers, 40% told us that they have either moved, are moving or have considered moving house during lockdown. And with more than half (55%) of business owners saying they don’t mind where their employees live, as long as they come into the office when needed, it’s clear that both workers and business leaders agree that remote working, works!

We’re entering a new business landscape, where remote working is fast becoming the norm. This new, dynamic way of working offers benefits numerous to businesses and their people, but for your business to be part of this revolution, you need to have the right connectivity in place.

TalkTalk Business has a wealth of connectivity solutions available for operations of every size, and we support our business customers with exceptional service that’s rated ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot, to ensure they always get the most out of their connectivity. Want to find out more? View our range of solutions here.