UK employees working longest hours during Coronavirus homeworking

Broadband, Business tips

According to new data from NordVPN Teams, UK employees are working some of the longest hours in the world during the global coronavirus pandemic, logging on to their business VPN on average 11 hours a day since March 11.

Daniel Marcusson, Digital Privacy Expert of NordVPN Teams, said:

“The analysis of our clients indicated that tens of thousands corporate employees who have started working from home in the past week are typically working 11 hours a day, some of the longest hours in the world at this time. 

“Typically people homeworking are starting work earlier, but finishing at their usual same time.  The lack of a morning commute is currently being used as additional work time, which looks like a win-win for employees and businesses.  

“In the face of Coronavirus pandemic, people seem to be focused and united more than ever. Therefore, we expect the working hours to remain longer throughout the crisis. When the restrictions are lifted, I expect that many UK businesses will be much more receptive to greater homeworking.” 

Key numbers:

  • NordVPN Teams has seen a 165% usage spike and an almost 600% increase in sales overall.
  • People are working longer than before: Data showed a 2-hour increase to the average workday, compared to the period before the COVID-19 outbreak.  
  • The typical UK employee now working from home is spending 11 hours/day on business VPNs – one of the highest figures worldwide
  • NordVPN Teams saw a massive spike in desktop usage as people around the world work remotely. Desktop usage has grown by 91% in the last week. 
  • According to Gartner, large corporations with 10,000 people or more have the capacity to accommodate only 10% of their employees to work remotely.

Working hours

Country Average daily hours logged onto VPN, before
March 11
Average daily hours logged onto VPN, after March 11
UK 9 11
USA 8 11
France 8 10
Denmark 9 10
Netherlands 9 10
Belgium 9 10
Spain 8 10
Canada 9 11
Austria 9 10
Italy 8 8

The US increased their average workday by almost 40%, adding an extra 3 hours — the largest jump worldwide. The UK, France, Canada, and Spain are seeing a 2-hour increase. 

 NordVPN Teams usage growth

Country Growth, %
UK 48.1
USA 65.93
France 187.71
Denmark 180.35
Netherlands 240.49
Belgium 187.76
Spain 95.89
Canada 206.29
Austria 207.86
Italy 10.57

 As shown in the chart above, business VPN usage skyrocketed in Canada, Austria, and the Netherlands, growing by over 200%. Interestingly, Italians showed a modest 10% growth, which coincided with a widely-reported spike in usage on home networks, many of which might lack the necessary protection for remote work.

The UK seems to be preparing the most. NordVPN Teams sales in the country grew by 400%, highlighting a growing trend: companies need powerful, cloud-based security to go remote.

Countries affected by quarantine are using business VPNs more than ever before. Austria saw the highest growth at 161%. The spike in desktop usage across the board can be directly attributed to the mass wave of remote work around the world. 

 Desktop and mobile app usage growth

Country Desktop, % Mobile, %
UK 42.66 20.44
USA 94.09 0.39
France 72.34 3.47
Denmark 91.49 31.06
Netherlands 112.9 44.09
Belgium 96.63 -16.67
Spain 94.74 19.51
Canada 67.16 12.21
Austria 161.15 0
Italy 85.89 10.87





Chris Price
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