Over a third of Brits working from home are switching to mobile data

With more people now at home and sharing their broadband, over a third (36%) of Brits currently working from home are regularly switching to mobile data to stay online.

New research from O2, conducted online with YouGov, found that people are relying on their mobile data more than ever to stay online during the day, with over a third (36%) of Brits regularly switching to mobile data to stay online. 61% of Brits also agree that being able to connect to mobile data has made the experience of working from home better. Young people aged 18 to 34 (61%) and those with children in the household (65%) in particular are using mobile data to stay connected.

Since the start of the third national lockdown, Brits have once again been forced to both work and home-school under one roof, leading to nearly half (47%) of Brits experiencing increased stress due to connectivity issues in their homes since January. Over a quarter (28%) have also considered switching to mobile data for that all important business call.

Voice calls are back

‘Zoom fatigue’ is causing a resurgence of voice calling as people revert to the familiarity of the phone call. Over a quarter of Brits* (28%) and over a third (36%) of 18 to 24 year olds are switching to their mobile phones for an old fashioned voice call.

O2 data from January showed that on the day that the third national lockdown was announced, there was a significant increase in voice phone call traffic. People are also spending longer catching up on the phone during lockdown, with voice call duration increasing by an average of 30 seconds.

Data is an entertainment lifeline for young people during lockdown

Young people who are working from home are relying on mobile data for daily entertainment during their downtime, with 45% of 18 to 24 year olds saying they are more likely to use their mobile data for browsing social media.  

Users are also increasingly relying on data to enjoy streaming services, which have been an entertainment lifeline in lockdown. Over 44% of all O2’s data traffic went to streaming services such as Disney+ in January.

Connectivity is becoming a huge factor in moving homes

As working from home becomes the norm, connectivity is an increasingly important factor when moving homes. The majority of Brits (67%) who are working from home and have been using mobile data agreed that access to it will be an important factor when choosing where to live.

This is especially important for young people, with 76% of 18 to 34-year olds agreeing that access to mobile data will be important to them when choosing where to live in the future.

Emma Evans, Head of Network Experience at O2 said: 

“Covid-19 has demonstrated that reliable mobile connectivity is essential, helping families across the UK home-school their children, stay connected to loved ones, and keep businesses across the nation up and running.

“It’s because of this that O2 is committed to its role in rebuilding Britain, and why we are investing more in our network in 2021 than ever before.”

“We are pleased that the use of mobile data is able to support families and households to get through this difficult, unprecedented time when connectivity is crucial for daily life.”

My Cart Close (×)

Your cart is empty
Browse Shop

Rapid Mobile

Rapid Mobile uses cookies, tokens, and other third party scripts to recognise visitors of our sites and services, remember your settings and privacy choices, and - depending on your settings and privacy choices - enable us and some key partners to collect information about you so that we can improve our services and deliver relevant ads.


By continuing to use our site or clicking I Accept, you agree that Rapid Mobile and our key partners may collect data and use cookies for personalised ads and other purposes, as described more fully in our privacy policy.


You can change your settings at any time by clicking Manage Settings or by visiting our Privacy Centre for more detailed information.


Privacy Settings saved!
Cookie Services

We need your consent so that we and our trusted partners can store and access cookies, unique identifiers, personal data and information about your browsing behaviour on your device. This enables us to serve relevant content and advertising to you, and to improve the service that we provide to our readers. This only applies to we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site.

We track anonymized user information to improve our website.
  • _ga
  • _gid
  • _gat

Save my preferences