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Remote working - What broadband speed do I need to work from home?

Published date: February 2023

Telecommute was once a rarity, now a necessity

According to the ONS, for the 12-month period from January to December 2019, of the 32.6 million people in employment, around 1.7 million people reported working mainly from home. The coronavirus pandemic forced a worldwide remote working experiment, transforming our homes into a working space, away from distractions (if that’s possible). However, a few years on, remote work from home is definitely here to stay.

Flexibility, accessibility, productivity, awareness of the negative impact on the environment of the daily commute… There are several reasons why one would want to work from home at least one or a few days a week. But the current circumstances have made this not a matter of choice, the COVID-19 made teleworking mandatory. We had no choice but to adapt to the situation of lockdown and working from home. Society was technologically prepared for remote working; however, a change of habit was lacking to adopt digital ways of working. And people have stopped doubting the advantages derived from the uses of the Internet at work, in education, in the community, and in personal life. We are embracing digital technologies with an improved work-life balance, thanks to remote work from home.

The office will be where we have a terminal and a connection. Space will be the least of it. Thanks to telecommunications, physical space matters less and less. And productivity does not have to be damaged but rather enhanced.

As restrictions are lifted, the question on everyone’s mind is whether carrying out work from home will become “the new normal”. The International Labor Organisation estimates that 27% of workers in high-income countries could telecommute from home. This does not necessarily mean that they will continue working remotely. 

What speeds are best to work from home?

If you’ve recently found yourself working from home more often or learning remotely, there are many things you may want to consider ensuring that your new workspace has the internet connectivity and the speeds you need to work effectively. Remote working is a combination of video calls, sending and receiving emails, sending and downloading files, streaming, etc., so you need to make sure that your connection is fast enough for your needs.

The right minimum speed will depend on how the connection will be used:

Email and web browsing

These activities are considered lightweight. Unless you are receiving large files in your emails, our most affordable broadband package of 38Mbps would be more than capable of handling web browsing and email.

The majority of businesses across the UK have already upgraded to cloud-based telephony solutions, such as VoIP. This solution has several benefits, but those that particularly apply to companies with home workers include free internal calls, remote working capabilities - provided their mobile device is configured to access the office network, or conference calling as VoIP allows for hassle-free virtual meetings via conference calls.

If you use Skype or other VoIP tools for voice calls, that’s great news as they don’t require a lot of bandwidth, so you don’t need a Superfast connection. 

But video calls are different and also high-quality voice calls are the norm today, and consistent quality is more demanding. The recommended download and upload speed for Skype is 300 kbps and 100 kbps. But if you are in a video conference with seven people or more, you would need 8Mbps for downloading and 512 kbps for uploading. Zoom quotes a minimum speed of 600Kbps and a recommended speed of 1.5Mb.

One of our four Fibre Broadband options would be far better suited for video conferencing as this technology can provide better connectivity and speed. Poor quality calls risk limiting productivity and giving an unprofessional image to clients.

File downloads and uploads

Broadband upload speeds are generally much slower than download speeds. The reason for this is that we usually spend more time downloading than uploading, and downloading is given priority by internet service providers (ISPs). Your Superfast Plus provides upload speeds of 20Mbps - the best for file transfers and video calls.

Unlimited ADSL broadband or Fibre broadband?

ADSL typically only offers a maximum speed of up to 8Mpbs. While this is sufficient for sending and receiving emails, it will struggle to support more advanced tasks such as video calls.

On the other hand, Fibre-optic broadband is primarily available in two forms:
  • FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet), which utilises fibre-optic cables up to the cabinet on your street, then copper wires from here to your home/premises, with up to 80Mbps.
  • FTTP (Fibre to the Premises), which delivers a full-fibre internet connection, directly to your property with maximum speeds of up to 900Mbps.
For employees looking for the best broadband package for remote working, we would always recommend opting for a fibre connection where possible.

Do I need fibre-optic broadband for remote working?

If you are the sole user of your home, you are unlikely to require a large amount of bandwidth. 

As it becomes increasingly common for people to work from home, you need a stable, fast broadband connection. If your work requires downloading or uploading large pieces of data, such as video, and audio, or you make different video calls each day, Superfast Broadband is the best product for you. 

Superfast broadband is worth considering if you, for instance, have your family members or shared house using the internet simultaneously with several connected devices - laptops, mobiles, consoles, etc. If you download and play video games, or watch a lot of on-demand TV services or streaming sites like Netflix or Amazon Prime, you should look at fibre broadband packages. 

At Your Co-op Broadband, we provide a full range of home broadband packages; all the way up to Fibre to the Premises. Superfast Fibre Broadband is the most popular choice by our customers. Superfast is the ideal package if you have increasing broadband demands - ideal if you have multiple devices, a large household, TV streaming, online gaming, etc. Our Superfast Fibre Plus provides a better experience from your broadband. Download, work, stream and play without interruptions.

When will work from home end?

In July 2022, it was discovered that a large portion of the UK's population still work from home after a year of no covid-19 related restrictions. This includes people working under a hybrid and an entirely remote working arrangement. In an ONS survey, 38% of working adults reported working from home at some point over the past seven days. This shows that the future of remote working is one that is very much here to stay.

Sign-up & switch to climate-positive broadband with 10% off

We offer our members 10% off all of our broadband packages, though this is more than just great connections and money saving, it's also a simple way to cut your carbon each month. Bundled into every broadband package is a monthly carbon reduction of up to 50Kg, thanks to our climate impact partners Ecologi. Each month their carbon reduction projects take place all over the world to ensure you receive a climate-positive service, and a tree is planted when you switch to Your Co-op.

If you would like to find out more about our climate-positive broadband, please visit here.


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