Issue date
17 May 2019
61,000 employees in Wales regularly worked from home last year, according to new analysis published by Wales TUC today to mark Work Wise UK’s National Work from Home Day.

The analysis shows that 4.7% of Wales’ workforce worked from home in 2018.

Across the UK, homeworking is up 27% over the last decade.

But not enough bosses are giving their workers the option of homeworking – which could help people to see more of their family and improve work-life balance.

Wales TUC estimate there are around 4 million more UK workers who say they would like to work from home for at least some of their working week – but aren’t given the chance.

The analysis reveals that across the UK:

  • Gender: There are almost twice as many men as women homeworkers. But women are catching up, with 36% more working from home than ten years ago.
  • Homeowners: People who own their home are 73% more likely to work at home than renters.
  • Age: Older workers are more likely to work at home, with 7.5% of 40-59 year olds homeworking but only 3.4% 20-29 year olds.
  • Occupation: 11.9% of managers work at home – more than any other group.
  • Nation: Wales has the fourth lowest number of employees regularly working from home, with only 4.7%.
  • Disabled workers: Homeworking can be an important way for disabled workers to access the labour market, and there are 270,000 disabled people who work from home.

Wales TUC Policy Officer Rhianydd Williams said:

“In many cases, homeworking is a win-win-win. Workers get more time with their families, employers can boost productivity and hang on to experienced staff, and the environment benefits as well.

“But too many employers in Wales are clinging to tradition, or don’t trust their staff enough to encourage homeworking. They need to catch up.

“Unions can help negotiate home working policies that work positively for both employers and staff. And government should be investing in broadband infrastructure so that every worker can get a high-speed connection at home.”

Chief Executive of Work Wise UK, the organiser of National Work from Home Day, Phil Flaxton said:

“Whilst it is encouraging to see a significant increase in the number of employees working from home there still needs to be a cultural shift for it to be accepted more widely.

“Attitudes are changing on how we balance or mix work and lifestyle. Increasing mobility and technology is shifting the acceptance or need for traditional 9-5 work patterns, to be replaced by a more flexible approach to the working week and this trend will continue as more of us embrace new, smarter ways of working such as working from home.

“More employers need to realise the tangible benefits of changing outdated working practices to reflect the connected world in which we live. These include, increased productivity, staff retention, less absenteeism and employee burnout.

“The business case is sound, and it really can be a win-win for all concerned.”

ENDS

Editors note

Wales TUC Policy Officer Rhianydd Williams is available for further comment.

- Number of employees who regularly work from home across the UK

 

2008

% of workforce

2018

% of workforce

Men

865,000

6.7

1,062,000

7.6

Women

483,000

3.8

659,000

4.8

All

1,348,000

5.2

1,722,000

6.1

Source: ONS Labour Force Survey Q4

- Number of employees who regularly work from home by nation/region in 2018

Number

% of workforce

North East

45,000

4.2%

North West

168,000

5.6%

Yorkshire and the Humber

166,000

7.5%

East Midlands

125,000

6.2%

West Midlands

158,000

6.7%

East

172,000

6.6%

London

217,000

5.7%

South East

292,000

7.6%

South West

188,000

8.1%

Wales

61,000

4.7%

Scotland

106,000

4.5%

Northern Ireland

22,000

3.1%

UK

1,722,000

6.1%

Source: ONS Labour Force Survey Q4

- Number of employees who regularly work from home by industry in 2018 across the UK

Number

% workforce

Agriculture forestry and fishing

31,000

15.4%

Manufacturing

184,000

6.5%

Electricity, gas and air supply

34,000

12.0%

Construction

186,000

13.8%

Wholesale and retail

136,000

3.6%

Transport and storage

95,000

5.8%

Hotels and restaurants

25,000

1.6%

Transport, storage and communication

95,000

5.8%

Finance and insurance

25,000

1.6%

Real estate, renting and business activities

469,000

12.3%

Public administration and defence

108,000

5.2%

Education

91,000

3.0%

Health and social work

159,000

3.9%

Other service activities

108,000

7.6%

All industries

1,722,000

6.1%

Source: ONS Labour Force Survey Q4

- Number of employees who regularly work from home by age in 2018 across the UK

Number

% workforce

16-19

16,000

1.6%

20-29

207,000

3.4%

30-39

345,000

6.0%

40-49

444,000

7.5%

50-59

433,000

7.6%

60 and above

254,000

11.0%

All ages

1,722,000

6.1%

- Wales TUC is the voice of Wales at work. With 49 member unions, Wales TUC represents just over 400,000 workers. We campaign for a fair deal at work and for social justice at home and abroad.

Contacts:

Emma Bean
ebean@tuc.org.uk
020 7467 1257
07725 144 696

TUC press office
media@tuc.org.uk
020 7467 1248

Wales TUC Cymru

wtuc@tuc.org.uk

029 2034 7010

Phil Flaxton – Work Wise UK
phil@workwiseuk.org
07831 112639