The RSC’s survey of 2,000 people across the UK about their tech consumption and recycling habits found more than a quarter (26.9%) of people across the UK started to work from home for the first time as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but just a third of those (33%) took existing office equipment home.
Nearly the same number (29%) said their employer had purchased new tech on their behalf to support the change in working habits, and almost one in five (18.8%) purchased new IT equipment at their own expense to support home working.
A further 17% said they used the need to work from home as an opportunity to upgrade their IT equipment when they weren’t previously planning on doing so.
This is reinforced by sales figures from tech retailer Currys PC World, which show there was a 41% increase in computing sales between stores first re-opening on 1st May and 22nd August, compared to the same period in 2019.
However, the electrical retailer, which also offers a free recycling service for small e-waste such as computers or gadgets, says returns of redundant equipment have dropped. While stores were closed for 13 weeks this year due to restrictions, e-waste returns were down 81% in 2020 when compared to the pre-lockdown period.