Today is National Working From Home Day, an initiative organised by Work Wise UK.
The Increasing Trend Of Working From Home
The numbers of people working from home have increased markedly over the last decade. This is borne out by a recent TUC research and data from the Office for National Statistics.
Working From Home: The Latest Statistics
The latest statistics are as follows:-
- The number of people who are now working from home has increased by 152,000 over the last year
- 1 in 16 of the workforce worked from home in 2016, an increase of 7.7% on the year before. This is made up of 966,000 men and 673,000 women. Nevertheless, the largest increase in 2016 was amongst women (10.5%).
- The largest concentration of those working from home is in the South West of England (1 in 11), whilst the lowest concentration is in Northern Ireland (1 in 33)
- In terms of sectors of the economy, those with the largest concentration of home workers are construction, IT, and agriculture.
- A greater percentage of those aged over 40 work from home, compared with those under 40
- In terms of those not currently working from home, around 4 million would like to work at least part of their time from home. Those who have at least 26 weeks service, are entitled to apply for flexible working.
Working From Home Benefits The Economy
Commenting on the findings, the Chief Executive of WorkWiseUK, Phil Flaxton stated: “The structure of our economy and consequently our workplaces has changed significantly. Cultural, economic and social changes are affecting attitudes to how we balance or mix work and lifestyle, where increasing mobility and technology is shifting the acceptance or need for traditional office based, 9-5 work patterns, to be replaced by more home-based, flexible ways and periods of work….Such fundamental change towards home-working is recognised by increasing numbers of inspired, and more trusting Employers….They recognise that by changing outdated working practices and implementing a Smarter Working strategy, such as home-working, provides them with an opportunity to set a road map for real work force transformation, creating benefits for their Employees, themselves as well as contributing to the growth of the UK economy.”
Frances O’Grady, the General Secretary of the TUC stated: “Modern home-working is good for the economy, as it helps businesses hold on to talented staff and boosts productivity. And it allows those with caring responsibilities or a disability greater access to the jobs market….While home-working may not work in all professions, I would urge employers to look at the value it can bring to their business and their workforce.”