May 3, 2016
A new report from techUK and Citrix claims that the UK’s housing crisis is exacerbated by the majority of workers (59 percent) working on the basis that there is greater potential for securing employment by living and working in large cities. The Housing Crisis: a Digital Solution (download) is based on data from YouGov research into the expectations of 1,243 UK knowledge workers with the potential to enjoy remote working. The report claims that the burden that location-dependent work places on large cities could be significantly reduced by allowing workers to work remotely, as over half of British workers (54 per cent) stated they would be likely to relocate to a rural area if they could still perform their role to the same level. However, while many workers would relocate if they could, connectivity, transport and corporate culture were all cited as challenges to achieving this especially when 48 per cent of rural premises don’t have access to high-speed broadband internet.
Jacqueline de Rojas, Area Vice President, Northern Europe, Citrix and president, techUK, said: “With pressure mounting on major cities and the urban population increasing, it is clear that the government and industry must look to intelligent solutions to relieve this problem. There is no good reason why career success and living rurally should remain mutually exclusive, and if we can bring to an end the necessary migration to large cities for professional success, we have the potential to redistribute economic growth across the UK – supporting our rural communities and growing our talented workforce to also include those who can’t afford or don’t wish to live in large cities.”
Matthew Evans, executive director, techUK said: “Connectivity is key to sharing the benefits of digital across the UK. Ensuring all workers and all businesses have the connectivity they need is a key part of solving the productivity puzzle. Applying this connectivity to where people are – be it at home, in the office, or on a train – must remain an urgent priority for government and industry if we’re to retain our position as a world leading digital economy.”