Back to Business: The Surprising Return to the Office in the Face of Modern Challenges

Virgin Media O2 Business' Annual Movers Index Unveils a Resurgence in Office Work Amidst Transport Woes and Cost-of-Living Crisis

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Key Takeaways:

  • The Great Office Return: 40% of companies resumed a five-day office week in 2023, challenging the remote work trend.
  • Adapting to Economic Pressure: Brits are increasingly opting for public transport and supporting local businesses amidst the cost-of-living crisis.
  • Data-Driven Insights: O2 Motion’s comprehensive data reveals significant shifts in UK movement patterns and consumer behaviors.


The inaugural Annual Movers Index by Virgin Media O2 Business, drawing on extensive data from O2 Motion and national polling, has revealed some unexpected trends in the UK’s work and consumer habits for the year 2023.

Resurgence of the Office Culture

Despite widespread transportation issues and a push towards remote work, the report surprisingly shows a strong return to the office.

Overcoming Commuting Challenges

With over half of the workforce facing transport delays, there was still a notable shift back to the office, driven by various factors including mandatory in-office policies set by companies.

Cost of Commuting

The return to the office comes with its costs, with commuters spending up to £7,540 annually on related expenses, a significant outlay amid the cost-of-living crisis.

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Changing Consumer Behaviors

2023 also witnessed a shift in consumer habits, with a marked increase in the use of public transport and support for local businesses.

Embracing Public Transport

Over a third of Brits increased their use of public transport, not only as a cost-saving measure but also to reduce their environmental impact. This trend aligns with the growing awareness of sustainability issues.

Social Norms and Transportation

The report notes that while commuting saw an uptick, it wasn’t without its challenges, such as the breaking of social norms on public transport, like playing music without headphones.

The Rise of Local Shopping

The data indicates a strong inclination towards supporting local businesses, with a majority willing to spend more at local stores. This trend is particularly pronounced among younger generations.

Seasonal Shopping Trends

Interestingly, shopping behaviors fluctuated with the seasons, with different months seeing varying levels of activity in high streets and shopping centers.

The Role of Virgin Media O2 Business

Virgin Media O2 Business plays a crucial role in providing valuable insights for businesses to navigate these changing trends. Jo Bertram, the Managing Director, emphasizes the importance of data in making informed decisions for the future.

Insights for Future Strategies

The Movers Index serves as a vital tool for businesses to understand and adapt to the evolving landscape, ensuring they remain responsive to both employee and consumer needs.

Methodology and Data Collection

The report’s findings are based on robust data collection methods, utilizing anonymized and aggregated UK movement data from O2 Motion, supplemented by national polling results.

Anonymity and Privacy in Data Collection

O2 Motion’s approach to data collection prioritizes privacy, ensuring individual anonymity while offering valuable insights into movement and behavior trends across the UK.

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Survey and Data Quality

The data, gathered through a survey of 2,000 UK business leaders and public members, adheres to the highest standards of quality and research ethics.


The Virgin Media O2 Business Movers Index for 2023 provides a comprehensive overview of the UK’s evolving work patterns and consumer behaviors. The report highlights a surprising return to traditional office work, changes in transportation and shopping habits, and underscores the resilience and adaptability of businesses and consumers alike in the face of economic challenges. These insights are invaluable for businesses planning strategies in an ever-changing economic landscape.

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