Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest that a record number of people now work from home, at least since their figures started in 1998. There were 4.2 million people classified as working from home in the first quarter of 2014, some 13.9% of the UK workforce.
However, this number could be slightly misleading because it includes those who merely use their home as a base for their work. About 1.5 million of these actually work in their home or in the boundary of their property.
The proportion of homeworkers has risen steadily since the quoted figure of 11.1% in 1998, but the TUC has said that bosses still do not trust their staff to work from home.
Frances O’Grady, the TUC General Secretary said: “Too many bosses still don’t trust staff to work from home and instead force them to trudge into the office so that they can keep an eye on them. Employers’ attitudes to new working practices must change to make a much better use of modern technology in all workplaces.”
In the 1990s certain big companies, such as BT, actively encouraged employees to work from home if they could, but in more recent times, this trend for blue-chip companies has gone into reverse, with most homeworkers now being self-employed (63%). The survey also showed that those who work from home are likely to be well-paid and highly skilled; 15% are managers or senior officials and 35% are classed as professionals.
They also earn more; on average, £13.23 per hour, compared to other workers who earn £10.50.
Sources: bbc.co.uk, ons.gov.uk (image courtesy of 7figuresurfer.com)