Statistics show from October to December 2019 and January to March 2022, homeworking in the UK has more than doubled from 4.7m to 9.9m people, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS)
Published in its ‘Homeworking in the UK – regional patterns: 2019 to 2022’ data-set, the ONS number-crunching also reveals increases in homeworking varied across UK regions. It says the largest percentage increase in homeworking was in Scotland (203.5%, up 544,000), and the smallest percentage increase was in Northern Ireland (56.4%, up 49,000). The ONS defines remote workers as those who say their main place of work is their own home.
What’s more, between October to December 2019 and January to March 2022, the number of non-homeworkers (those who live and non-homework in the same region) and regional commuters (those who work in a region but live in a different region) in the UK decreased by 19.7% (down 5.5 million).
The ONS did however find a decrease in the number of non-homeworkers (those who live and non-homework in the same region) and regional commuters (those who work in a region but live in a different region) varied across UK regions. It says the largest decreases were in London (30.1%, down 1.4 million), followed by the South East (21.8%, down 775,000), Scotland (21.2%, down 505,000) and the North West (20.2%, down 627,000).
The rise of home working in London has been resulted in press interest from the national media – as low office attendance rates cause concern. This is despite ministers and officials urging people back to the workplace, with fears that London’s recovery is lagging other cities because of a lack of commuters.
Implications for labour market
Despite the end of UK government guidance to work from home, says the ONS, in February 2022 more than 8 in 10 workers who had to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic said they planned to work both from home and in the workplace (hybrid work). Of those workers surveyed, 42% were planning to work “most working hours from home, and sometimes from their usual place of work”. The increase in homeworking practices has led many to consider the implications on local labour markets and consumption.
The ONS also looked at flexible working. Across the UK, in January to March 2022, 14.3% of people (2.8 million) who did not mainly work from home (non-homeworkers) said they worked from home at least one day in the reference week. This figure was highest in London (24.3%, 627,000) and lowest in the East Midlands (9.1%, 126,000).
View the full data set
- Homeworking in the UK – regional patterns
- Dataset | Released 11 July 2022
- Homeworking data for the UK from the Labour Force Survey in October to December 2019 and January to March 2022.
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