7 Million of Brits Work from Home
Around 11% of British population
The number of people who work from home in UK has increased very fast in the last years. Many workers prefer to telecommute rather than going to work. According to a study compiled by the NGO Work Wise UK, whose primary mission is to make the UK one of the most progressive economies in the world, and Trade Unions Council (TUC), whose main objective is to raise the quality of working life and promote equality for all British workers, today there are 7 million of Britain's who work from home. It means that approximately 11% of the UK total population work remotely.
It is important to remember that to be considered as a person who works from home, you must spend at least half of your work time at home. It can be that you have your own business at home, for example an online start up, or that you have an office job, but you spend most of the time at home for several reasons: most important of all your family.
In 2014, the Office for National Statistics in UK found that in the first quarter of the year there were 4.2 million of British people working remotely. It is remarkable that around half of them were people between the ages of 25 and 49, and who actually had children. Naturally, the kids are still a strong reason for parents who prefer to telecommute, especially when they are in their first years and need more attention and caring.
What was more impressive was that the number has grown 45% since 1998. Sixteen years ago, the number was approximately 2.9 millions. So, it is valid to question ourselves regarding what have changed since then.
According to Philip Flaxton, Chief Executive of Work Wise UK, "The structure of UK economy and consequently its workplaces has changed significantly. The move away from manufacturing to a more service based economy has placed greater emphasis on ‘human capital’ as individual workers are now an essential part of the product offering in many sectors. This has also meant a change in the structure of our workplaces – increasingly work is no longer time and location bound which presents additional challenges in keeping all workers fully skilled and up to date. 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 9-5 work patterns, to be replaced by more flexible ways and periods of work."
Another reason that should be considered for this high increase is that for more than 10 years workers have been equipped with advanced technology, such as video conference or high speed Internet, which indeed makes working at home easier, being able to be reached at anytime.
Additionally, now more companies allow their employees to telecommute in UK, because they have realized that workers can be even more productive when they stay at home working and it is also beneficial for their well-being working with more flexibility.