Top tech stats: Unicorns overvalued by 26.5%, the rise of flexible working & more


Welcome to your round up of some of the past week’s most interesting surveys, statistics and reports relevant to those involved in the UK tech industry.

This week, we have statistics relating to flexible working, smart home technology and research which indicates tech unicorns could be overvalued.

Flexible working

New research from UK employer solution firm My Family Care and recruitment platform Hydrogen has revealed the tech industry has the most number of employees taking advantage of flexible working hours and working remotely.

The report found 81% of tech employees claimed they work flexibly to some degree, which is 15% higher than the average of 66%.

Additionally, 88% of the 265 UK-based tech professionals consider the option to work flexibly more important than other benefits like private health insurance, enhanced pension scheme or bonuses.

Similarly 60% said they would rather have flexible working in lieu of a 5% salary increase and 50% said they would trade a 10% salary rise for flexible working.

Ben Black, Director of My Family Care, commented: “Thanks to the nature of their work and the ever-increasing development of technology, those who work in tech are able to work remotely and flexibly which is a fantastic way to improve your work/life balance and ensure your staff are engaged.

“The top benefit was revealed as being able to spend more time with family or a partner, closely followed by increased productivity – highlighting that it really is a win-win situation for both employer and employee. It is fantastic to see so many enlightened technology firms who embrace the concept of flexible working.”

Smart homes

A study by Halifax revealed 89% of UK adults have at least one smart device. 5% of respondents have over five smart devices.

Men lead the connected tech revolution, with 8% of men owning more than five smart devices, compared to just 3% of women. Men are also more likely to purchase a connected home device in the next year, with 20% indicating they plan to do so, compared with 14% of women.

The research also discovered the most popular connected home device to be the smart TV – 36% of respondents claimed to have at least one. Only 5% have smart heating, but 26% agreed it would be beneficial for them in their home.

Ian Lloyd, endto-end transformation director at Halifax, commented: “It’s amazing how many ways there are to enhance the interaction you have with your home through connected devices. Our research has revealed that whilst connected homes may well still be in their infancy, it’s likely that we’ll see more exciting propositions that revolutionise our households.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, the introduction of smart devices which connect new areas of people’s homes to the web has been met with some apprehension. With over half of respondents citing the potential for hacking as a key concern, many homes will be weighing up the balance between convenience and peace of mind,” he added.

Overvalued unicorns

Research company Zirra has found the 20 most valued tech startups, including the likes of Uber, Didi, Snapchat and Airbnb, are overvalued.

Zirra valued the top 20 global unicorns and compared them with Wall Street Journal’s live list of private tech companies, finding they are overvalued by a median gap of 26.5%.

Some of the more prominent examples include Airbnb, with a 54% gap (Zirra values at $13.8b, WSJ at $30bn), Dropbox, with a 52% gap (Zirra values at $4.8bn, WSJ at $10bn) and Pinterest, with a 60.9% gap (Zirra values at $4.3bn, WSJ at $11bn).