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UK remote workers fuel home office equipment demand

Office chairs are the most in-demand item, followed by printers, headsets and keyboards

A home office set up with a desk, computer and chair

Continued remote working in the UK is creating an increase in demand for home office equipment and furniture, according to research. 

Around half of the UK's remote workers have purchased home office items, such as desks and computers, according to product research firm Growth from Knowledge (GFK). 

Currently, the UK is in the middle of a second lockdown, which is due to end at the start of December. However, GFK's research suggests that around 36% of UK workers plan to purchase more equipment in order to stay away from the workplace beyond the pandemic. 

Around 53% of workers have already purchased equipment, with desk chairs the most popular home office buy (21%), followed closely by printers, headsets and keyboards (all on 15%). This hierarchy is likely to continue, according to GFK, as desk chairs are still the most sought after item, though computers, smartphones and storage units have also seen a rise in demand. 

Remote working has proved more popular in the UK than in other European countries with almost half (49%) of the UK's working population working from home since the first lockdown in March. This compares to than 45% in France and 41% in Germany. 

This trend has continued with Brits still working from home well into autumn, driving an ongoing demand for home office equipment. Around 58% of those that had worked remotely during the first lockdown continued to do so by September, according to GFK, whereas the trend had fallen off 32% in France and 40% in Germany.  

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"This is good news for brands selling office equipment and IT in the UK," said Nathalie Bolle, GFK regional lead for consumer insights. "On top of the 53% of home-workers here who have already bought items to allow them to work remotely, another 36% say they plan to make purchases in the future. Office furniture is a particular focus for intended purchases, as people aim to be more comfortable as they work from home."

Last week, a report from Deutsche Bank called for a 5% daily tax for those that chose to work remotely. The idea was to raise money for those displaced by the Coronavirus and rebalance the UK's economy. 

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