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New figures from the Office for National Statistics show that home and hybrid working has been relatively resistant to change since the end of lockdowns.
Sixteen per cent of adults work from home only and over a quarter [28%] work do hybrid working, according to a study by the Office for National Statistics which says homeworking has proved relatively resistant to change since the end of the lockdowns.
Its figures relate to a seven-day period over the period September 2022 to January 2023. Workers in the highest income band, those who were educated to degree level or above, and those in professional occupations were most likely to report home only or hybrid working.
Self-employed workers were twice as likely to work from home only (32%) compared with employees (14%) and London residents reported the highest levels of hybrid working across Great Britain, with four in 10 workers both working from home and travelling to work.
The ONS says levels of working from home peaked during the pandemic, with almost half of working adults (49%) reporting having worked from home at some point in the past seven days in the first half of 2020. By mid 2022, when guidance to work from home was lifted in Great Britain, around 38% of working adults reported having worked from home. In the most recent period (25 January to 5 February 2023) that reached around 40%.
The ONS notes that there is some fluctuation in figures throughout the year, but without a clear upward or downward trend “indicating that homeworking is resilient to pressures such as the end of restrictions and increases in the cost of living”.
Meanwhile, the labour statistics for the three months from October to December 2022 show a slight rise in employment [payrolled employees] and in unemployment, while the economic inactivity rate decreased by 0.3 percentage points on the quarter, to 21.4% in October to December 2022. This decrease was driven by people aged 16 to 24 years. Growth in total and regular pay fell, in real terms on the year in October to December 2022, by 3.1% for total pay and by 2.5 for regular pay due to the rate of inflation.
Another report about London’s economy highlights the ongoing labour shortage, warning that the capital’s economy is being hindered by a shortage of workers with almost two-thirds of firms struggling to fill vacancies. The report from the Federation of Small Businesses, Confederation of British Industry, London Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and BusinessLDN found that 77% of companies are trying to hire staff, while 69% are planning to boost training in order to upskill existing employees as suitable new recruits prove scarce.