More than 80% of staff will work from home at Christmas

MORE than eight out of ten office workers in the UK expects to do some work from home over the Christmas break despite being on holiday, according to a survey published today.

One in six expects to do some work - such as checking e-mails - on Christmas Day.

On average, staff will log in to their work IT systems six times during their annual leave over the festive period and spend 1.6 hours online each time, according to the research by Glasgow-based Demon Broadband.

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The figures for the number of people working during their Christmas holidays this year represents a 15 per cent increase on last year and Matt Cantwell, head of Demon, said the results demonstrated the UK's growing dependence on flexible working.

"As a nation we're no longer restricted by set working hours and are often the most productive when working whenever and wherever suits us best.

"It's also clear that we're increasingly dependent on technology to support our preference for flexible working. With winter illness and snow chaos, remote working is no longer a 'nice to have', but a necessity."

Cantwell said new technologies such as smartphones and faster internet connections were allowing more people to work from home.

"Whilst these technologies can mean we're constantly connected they also give us the much-needed flexibility to keep on top of our work without having to disrupt family life by leaving for the office," he said.

Of those surveyed who said they would be working from home during Christmas, 95 per cent said they would be sending and receiving e-mails, with more than two-thirds also accessing files and documents on a business network through a remote connection. One-third said they will be using cloud-based computing services to access files and documents over the internet.

The research was carried out among more than 550 customers of Demon which was bought by Thus in 1998. Thus was later acquired in 2008 by Cable & Wireless Worldwide.