Scottish organisations and employees are embracing hybrid work more than anywhere else in the UK, according to a Virgin Media O2 Business study with the Centre for Economics and Business Research.*

On average, Scottish employees want to work 2.8 days a week from home – a rise of 254% compared with before the pandemic. The UK average following the lifting of all COVID-19 restrictions is 2.35 days.

The research has also shown that Scottish respondents are enjoying a variety of other benefits linked to hybrid working practices.

On average, Scottish respondents enjoyed an additional 1.7 hours of leisure time a day when working remotely, which scaled up equals 442 hours a year or almost 20 days extra (18.4). This is offering them greater control over their work/life balance and more freedom to exercise, relax or spend time with family.

The way we work is not just impacting leisure but business deliverables too.  Across the UK, business leaders polled by the CEBR said that increased remote working has resulted in a 4.9 per cent increase in customer satisfaction, a 3.6 per cent increase in employee satisfaction and a 3.4 per cent increase in productivity since 2020.

In addition, hybrid working is making Scotland an appealing option for skilled workers from the rest of the UK. Our research found that – of those employees who indicated a willingness to relocate thanks to remote working – Scotland could see an influx of 238,000 employees.

Assuming that employees would retain their current jobs and salaries before moving to the region and working remotely, the influx could lead to a £7.1 million injection into the Scottish economy. This is the highest economic uplift of anywhere Virgin Media O2 Business and the Cebr surveyed.

Commenting on the news, Mike Smith, Director of Large Enterprise and Public Sector at Virgin Media O2 Business, said: “This research shows that embracing hybrid working can have concrete economic and societal impacts for Scotland and no doubt other areas of the UK. Now, business leaders need to ensure they are listening to their workforces and offer choice. This includes access to technology but also training with the relevant hardware, apps, and security. Supporting staff in this way will lead to happier employees, stronger sales and more modern and resilient regional economies.”


*Regional or national breakdown of remote working days “expected” once “all restrictions have been lifted”

  • Scotland – 2.8
  • North West – 2.6
  • East Midlands – 2.6
  • London – 2.5
  • South East – 2.5
  • Northern Ireland – 2.4
  • East of England – 2.4
  • Yorkshire and Humberside – 2.4
  • Wales – 2.3
  • West Midlands – 2.2
  • North East – 2
  • South West – 2

Key Stats

  • Days per week spent working remotely for Scottish employees:
    • Before Covid: 1.1 days (UK average 1.35 days)
    • During Covid: 3.5 days (UK average 3.2 days)
    • After all restrictions have been lifted: 2.8 days (UK average 2.35 days)
  • Average additional leisure time: 1.7 hours a day (average)
  • 41% of respondents indicated they would use their additional time to exercise
  • 71% of decision-makers said they had accelerated their use of technology due to Covid-19
  • Potential net movement of employees to Scotland: 238,000
  • Potential net movement of income to Scotland: £7.1 million


This study was informed by primary research, which was designed by Cebr in collaboration with Virgin Media O2 Business and undertook by Opinium.

A survey of 502 organisation decision-makers was conducted between the 1st of July 2021 and the 10th of July 2021. A separate survey of 2,000 consumers weighted to be nationally representative was conducted between the 13th of July 2021 and the 17th of July 2021.

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on: 01753 565656
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