One in seven Brits now working from home, research finds

Almost one in seven people in the UK now works from home, according to new research.

TUC analysis of the Office for National Statistics Labour Force Survey shows that the number of remote workers has risen by around 800,000 people over the past 10 years. This brings the total tally to more than 4 million employees enjoying the benefits of home working, which accounts for 14 per cent of the UK's entire workforce.

Broken down by region, the South East has most home workers, with the biggest increase witnessed in London – where over 190,000 more people are working from home now compared to a decade ago – while the South West has the highest percentage at almost one in five.

Interestingly, home working in Northern Ireland has dropped by 10,000 since 2005, while there has only been negligible growth in Wales.

By sex, the ONS data showed that 62.8 per cent of people who work from home are male, but this is partly because more men are self-employed. Women are catching up however, with 45 per cent more women working from home now than in 2005 - the number of men only increased by 13.5 per cent.

The study by the national trade union centre also found that those who were able to work from home enjoyed a much better work-life balance.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “These figures show millions of British workers have adopted home working and are enjoying a better work-life balance, while saving time and money on costly commuting that benefits no-one.

“Although organisations that have embraced home working often say that it has improved retention and productivity, there are still too many employers who are afraid to let their staff try out this way of working. The TUC estimates that there could be as many as another 1.8 million people who would enjoy the benefits of working from home.”

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