Americans have been putting in three extra hours per workday since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and UK employees have been adding two hours to each workday, according to a new report from business VPN provider NordVPN Teams. That amounts to at least an extra week of work each month compared with pre-pandemic times.
In the US, the average workweek has increased by around 40% since April, with an extra 15 hours on the job, making it the largest increase globally, NordVPN Teams said Wednesday. Four months since that increase, US employees continue to spend three hours more on business VPNs each day, and UK employees continue to work two hours longer than usual.
Other countries, including Canada and European nations like France and Spain, have returned to pre-pandemic work schedules, even though they'd also shown a two-hour increase in working hours in previous data. Throughout Europe, employees have started returning to their offices as businesses and offices reopen, which could contribute to the stabilization in their schedules.
"The data has also revealed that the UK seems to start work an hour later than before the quarantine, but both the US and UK tend to work late," Juta Gurinaviciute, chief technology officer for NordVPN Teams, said in a statement. "We also see that there is no significant drop in the usage of business VPNs during lunch time, which might suggest that lunch breaks have become shorter."
Use of business VPNs spiked in April, along with a reported increase in use of home networks and devices, many of which may not have proper protection for secure remote work, NordVPN Teams said. This becomes critical as some companies plan to have employees continue to work remotely more regularly, even after the pandemic ends. Spending on cloud security is expected to jump by 33% this year, making it a $585 million market, according to market analyst Gartner.
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