Employees now working from home working longer hours than before, data shows

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New data from NordVPN Teams (one of the world’s largest suppliers of the secure virtual private networks corporates use for enabling online working) shows a massive spike since March 11 in business VPN usage worldwide in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic. This directly correlates with the mass increase in remote work globally.

Daniel Marcusson, digital privacy expert of NordVPN Teams, said: “The analysis of our clients indicated that their 10,000s of corporate employees that have started working from home in the past week are typically working 11 hours a day, some of the longest hours in the world at this time. 

“Typically people homeworking are starting work earlier — but finishing at their usual same time. The lack of a morning commute is currently being used as additional work time, which looks like a win-win for employees and businesses.  

“In the face of Coronavirus pandemic, people seem to be focused and united more than ever. Therefore, we expect the working hours to remain longer throughout the crisis. When the restrictions are lifted, I expect that many UK businesses will be much more receptive to greater homeworking.” 

Key numbers:

  • NordVPN Teams has seen a 165% usage spike and an almost 600% increase in sales overall.
  • People are working longer than before: Data showed a 2-hour increase to the average workday, compared to the period before the COVID-19 outbreak.  
  • The typical UK employee now working from home is spending 11 hours/day on business VPNs – one of the highest figures worldwide
  • NordVPN Teams saw a massive spike in desktop usage as people around the world work remotely. Desktop usage has grown by 91% in the last week. 
  • According to Gartner, large corporations with 10,000 people or more have the capacity to accommodate only 10% of their employees to work remote.

Working hours

CountryAverage daily hours logged onto VPN, before
March 11
Average daily hours logged onto VPN, after March 11
UK911
USA811
France810
Denmark910
Netherlands910
Belgium910
Spain810
Canada911
Austria910
Italy88

The US increased their average workday by almost 40%, adding an extra 3 hours — the largest jump worldwide. The UK, France, Canada, and Spain are seeing a 2-hour increase. 

In addition to the findings, the data revealed employees are also starting work earlier — but finishing at the same time.  The lack of morning commute could be the cause. 

NordVPN Teams usage growth

CountryGrowth, %
UK48.1
USA65.93
France187.71
Denmark180.35
Netherlands240.49
Belgium187.76
Spain95.89
Canada206.29
Austria207.86
Italy10.57

As shown in the chart above, business VPN usage skyrocketed in Canada, Austria, and the Netherlands, growing by over 200%. Interestingly, Italians showed a modest 10% growth, which coincided with a widely-reported spike in usage on home networks, many of which might lack the necessary protection for remote work.

The UK seems to be preparing the most. NordVPN Teams sales in the country grew by 400%, highlighting a growing trend: companies need powerful, cloud-based security to go remote.

Desktop and mobile app usage growth

CountryDesktop, %Mobile, %
UK42.6620.44
USA94.090.39
France72.343.47
Denmark91.4931.06
Netherlands112.944.09
Belgium96.63-16.67
Spain94.7419.51
Canada67.1612.21
Austria161.150
Italy85.8910.87

Countries affected by quarantine are using business VPNs more than ever before. Austria saw the highest growth at 161%. The spike in desktop usage across the board can be directly attributed to the mass wave of remote work around the world. 

Working from Home: A Guide to Creating a Healthy and Productive Workspace https://www.cotswoldco.com/working-from-home/index.html