Video call frozen? Here’s how hybrid working is stalling careers – and how to fix it

A woman takes a video call from her home office
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Flexible working has become a constant in the modern world, with increasing numbers of people forgoing their office spaces five days a week to work from home on the regular. 

A hybrid model of working seems to be the most popular, with a recent YouGov poll revealing that 60% of working people in the UK would find it most beneficial to work partly remote, and partly in the office.

The flexibility that hybrid working affords has proven transformative, allowing people to structure their days in a way that's productive for them, and crucially allowing us parents to balance childcare. Not to mention, the move away from the full-time office setup is saving us all time and increasing travel costs in the absence of our commutes. 

It’s also more efficient work-wise, with over two thirds of UK employees claiming that they are more productive when working from home, and 55% reporting that they can concentrate better.

A woman works from home with headphones and a laptop

(Image credit: Getty Images)

However, there are significant downsides to working remotely, from cyber threats and network sharing to the all-consuming dread of internet connection issues. And according to statistics, these are currently outweighing the perks, with many reverting to their offices out of fear that these drawbacks could actually be stalling their careers.

A whopping 85% of people are afraid that working from home (despite it being their preference) will set them back in progress, particularly when it comes to a new job or skill.

This is chiefly down to a mistrust of WFH networks - an issue that can be rectified with equipment that provides support and certainty, empowering us to work efficiently and flexibly - minus the stress.

Thankfully, EE has committed to helping consumers excel in a home environment, identifying the key problems facing remote workers, and creating technology to make flexible working work for you. This Autumn, as EE launches the game-changing WiFi Controls feature - available on Smart Hub and Smart Hub Plus, we look at how it’s going to revolutionise the world of hybrid working.

Here’s how to make hybrid working work for you with WiFi Controls

A woman smiles from her home office

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Enhance your internet

The number one reason for dissatisfaction amongst home workers is unreliable internet connection, with slow speed, video buffering and network interruptions cited as the main areas of concern. We’ve all experienced the perils of freezing in a video meeting or pitch, and the anxiety around these WFH network inconsistencies is actually now driving people back to the office. This is something EE is hoping to combat with its new WiFi Enhancer, launched as part of its new WiFi Controls feature. The industry-leading feature allows customers to prioritise work traffic on their network, consequently reducing bandwidth congestion, making it an essential for hybrid workers everywhere. 

Take control of your network

Another barrier to working from home is sharing your WiFi with everyone you live with, particularly those of us living with fellow remote workers or children attached to devices. The WiFi Controls feature is designed for this very purpose - taking control of your network. By giving you full control over the connectivity in your own home, the feature allows you to manage all connected devices, with features including network optimisation, pause WiFi and device based parental controls. This allows you to prioritise working from home above other household activities and gives you ownership over your network. It even offers Guest WiFi with certain packages, so that you can share broadband connection with guests without them joining your WiFi connection. 

Step up your security

Cyber security is another concern that people have reported when working remotely - particularly those of us sharing devices with our children. And with an increase in security threats (both in scale and complexity) and a long list of dangers to look out for, it can all get very overwhelming. We’ve all experienced a virus deleting our files or slowing our computers down, and when sharing devices with everyone in your household, it’s hard to feel secure. As UK workers are returning to the office just to ensure device protection, EE has launched its new WiFi Controls feature. And aiming to give us back control in our homes, it has advanced security protection, blocking threats and stopping our data from being accessed. Advanced Web Protect can safeguard every connected device on your network - you can even check out any blocked threats in the EE app. Plus EE’s Cyber Security, powered by Norton, offers dark web and social media monitoring, real-time protection against viruses, and more. With our security issues finally put to bed, hopefully we can get back to hybrid working with peace of mind, and enjoy the freedom that gives us.

Visit the EE website to find out more about WiFi Controls, and EE’s upcoming features.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.