The number of employees who usually work from home increased by 152,000 last year, according to new analysis published by the TUC today to mark National Work From Home Day.
The TUC is calling for more use of homeworking, but says it must be properly supported. Its analysis shows that more than 1.6 million employees (1 in 16) worked from home in 2016 – an increase of 7.7% on the year before.
The number of women working from home has increased by 10.5% (64,000) over the past year. However, men still account for the majority of homeworkers, with 966,000 regularly working from home in 2016, compared to 673,000 women.
One in 13 workers in their forties and fifties work from home. This compares to just one in 36 workers (168,000) in their twenties who regularly work from home.
The South West has the highest proportion of homeworkers with one in 11 regularly working from home. The next highest is the East of England (one in 13), followed by the South East (one in 14).
Northern Ireland has the lowest proportion of homeworkers in the UK, with just one in 33 employees saying they regularly work from home.
IT, agriculture and construction have the biggest share of homeworkers. One in six IT workers regularly work from home, says the analysis.
The TUC backs “properly supported” homeworking. That includes homeworkers’ additional bills being covered and access to the right equipment.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Homeworking is a great option for some workers, especially those with disabilities. Businesses should seriously look at the benefits it can bring.
“Allowing employees to work from home can be good for holding on to talented staff and boosting productivity.
“But homeworking shouldn’t be viewed as way of cutting costs. It should always be a real choice for the workers who want it.”