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The Month in Numbers

With an estimated 141.4 million working days lost to sickness or injury in the UK in 2018, equivalent to 4.4 days per worker, BeeBole Timesheet is advising businesses to make use of cloud-based time-tracking technology to keep tabs on employees’ attendance. CEO Yves Hiernaux says this is particularly important now that so many people are working from home. “The coronavirus is clearly going to have a huge impact on the UK workforce,” he said. “If employers are truly worried about their team working remotely, they can use a cloudbased time tracking system to see how many hours were worked (and from where they were registered).”

Thanks to COVID-19, more employees than ever are working outside the traditional 9-5 working day as they juggle work and family responsibilities or adopt more flexible working practices. Anonymised data from business users of Box cloud storage show that during March there was a 20% year-on-year increase in views of content outside the hours of 9 to 5.

More than half (52%) of locked-down Brits want to spend less time on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram after admitting wasting hours on low-quality content, according to a survey by SaaS communities platform Disciple Media. Brits spend an average of 2 hours 45 mins on social media every day, with 43% describing it as an unnecessary distraction. One quarter of 2,000 consumers questioned believe social media has a negative impact on society. In contrast, over half of those questioned said they would join community apps built for their personal passions, with 34% wanting to see dedicated apps from their favourite brands and more than one in three willing to pay for exclusive content or offers. Disciple Media recently launched a new platform for Progressive Web Apps (PWA) that enables users with no prior coding knowledge to build community platforms focused on their personal passions.

An OECD study of Internet use during the COVID-19 crisis shows that traffic through Internet exchange points, where networks interconnect, has jumped by as much as 60% in OECD countries. Frankfurt’s DE-CIX exchange point now regularly peaks at over 9.1 terabits per second of data, equating to a simultaneous transmission of 2 million high-definition videos. The exchange has seen a 120% increase in videoconferencing traffic since the start of the pandemic.

The average person’s data is held by 350 brands, more than four out of five of which they have probably only interacted with once, claims Mine, developer of an AI-based platform that enables every digital user to discover and manage the digital footprint they leave when signing up to online services, downloading apps and making online purchases. The 5% of Mine users with the largest digital footprints found that an average of 2,834 companies had access to their data. More than nine out of 10 people surveyed (92%) say they feel uncomfortable about the number of companies that collect data about them; 86% see giving away data as impairing their right to privacy and/or their right to free choice; 88% believe that giving up one’s privacy is the unavoidable cost of using the internet. Mine empowers people to take their data back from online services by automating a GDPR ‘right-to-be-forgotten’ request. In its first month of operation, Mine sent more than 190,000 such requests to companies.

1.76 million
With 22% of consumers storing card details on their phone, UK consumers could lose £1,768,800 as a result of phone theft this year, warns digital marketing agency Blueclaw. Because it is possible to make up to four contactless payments before a PIN is required, shoppers could lose up to £120 before they notice their phone has been taken – or £180, following the raising of the limit for contactless transactions from £30 to £45. On the basis that around 183 phones are stolen in the UK each day, and more than one in five phone owners store card details on their phones, this could lead to losses of up to £1,768,800 or £2.6 million at the higher rate.

8.6 billion
Economic disruption caused by COVID-19 will see a doubling of unpaid business debt to more than £8.6bn this year, warns financial risk firm Red Flag Alert, before doubling again to more than £15 billion in 2021. According to The Insolvency Service, more than 17,000 companies went out of business in 2019, causing £4.3bn of invoices to be written-off.

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