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UK remote working set to continue for the next year

(Image credit: Image Credit: llaszlo / Shutterstock)

British workers are set to continue to shun the office and work from home for the foreseeable future, a new report has found.

Research from security firm Zscaler found that almost half (48%) of respondents across Europe expect remote worker numbers to grow by at least 25% and up to 50% in the next 12 months.

The study, which interviewed workers across the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and Netherlands, also found that many British businesses believe they need to up their security protection to allow effective remote working

This seismic shift will require new ways of thinking and of working, with organisations of all sizes needing to adapt to the remote working trend. Zscaler found that overall, a third (34%) of UK businesses evaluating new security solutions based on the growing remote workforce requirements.

Only 45% of UK respondents said they were confident that they have a secure remote access infrastructure in place that could support remote working, with remote desktop protocol (RDP) software of particular interest.

Elsewhere in Europe, a number of other systems and services are being utilised, with a third of remote employees accessing their corporate apps via RDP and 30% via remote access VPN solutions. However Identity and Access Management, and Zero Trust solutions are less popular, with 19% and 17% usage respectively.

“Despite much talk throughout lockdown around remote working becoming the new normal, it appears that there are different attitudes to this across Europe," said Ismail Elmas, General Manager & VP EMEA, Zscaler.

"Whilst German businesses seem to be most keen to increase remote worker numbers, other nations are more hesitant. It’s worrying that less than half of respondents across the UK, France and Italy are confident in the security of their current remote access infrastructure, but a promising number of companies are re-evaluating their current set-up. Businesses have identified that there’s a lot of work to be done to update their infrastructure, even if the growth in remote worker numbers may be more modest than we’ve anticipated.”

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro, and has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and ITProPortal.