Alison Ettridge Sep 30, 2020 12:00:00 AM 5 min read

Big data sheds light on why the UK is slower to return to work

With new guidance issued and uncertain times ahead, it’s critical for businesses to have their finger on the pulse when it comes to understanding their employees. Broadband, commute time and the UK’s working practices could be contributing to a longer-term shift to remote working.

Data from big data platform Stratigens connects information on workplace and workforce to analyse why British office workers lagged behind other European countries in returning to the physical workspace and why they might stay away from the office well into 2021.

UK office workers have been slower to return to their desks after lockdown compared to France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Talent Intuition’s big data platform, Stratigens sheds some light on how this may be influenced by working environments in major European cities: London, Paris, Milan, Brussels and Berlin. Data from Stratigens synthesised from 1500 big data sources finds that:

  • London has a higher % of the population commuting than any of the other cities analysed.
  • Commute time London is longer than other major European cities. There is an average commute time of 45 minutes to London compared to 24 minutes in Berlin.
  • London has the longest working day and working week, but productivity is lower. London employees work an average of 8 hours per day and a 36-hour week – higher than any of Paris, London, Milan, Brussels or Berlin.
  • London’s broadband speed is slower than that in other major capitals such as Paris, Brussels and Berlin.

CEO and founder of Talent Intuition, Alison Ettridge said: We are still in the big reset. Could it be that our working practices in the UK, including long working days and weeks, are discouraging a return to the office? Perhaps this is the start of cities being accommodation hubs and local towns being the place to shop, work and socialise.”

She concluded: “Organisations can’t afford not to have a good understanding of what’s influencing their workforce and workplaces at this critical time. Big data has many of the answers to these questions that CEOs are grappling with right now.”


Notes to Editors

To see more of Stratigens and how external data can help answer internal questions, book a demo HERE.

A two-minute demo of Stratigens is available here:

About Stratigens

Stratigens gives HR leaders data to transform businesses with the speed and ease required in today’s world. We've done the hard work of analysing thousands of external data sources so they can answer questions on their skills, diversity and real estate headaches. We enable quicker business decisions about workforce and workplace, revolutionised in their logic and simplicity. Unlike traditional approaches that are lengthy, costly, one-dimensional or based on gut feel.


Joanne Rogers
Head of Making Noise
Talent Intuition
Tel: 07889 624 528