Home-working up by a fifth over the last decade, TUC analysis reveals

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The number of employees who say they usually work from home has increased by a fifth (19%) over the past decade according to new analysis published by the TUC today (Friday) to mark National Work From Home Day.

The analysis shows that nearly a quarter of a million (241,000) more people work from home than 10 years ago.

The biggest growth in regular home working has been among women employees, with 35% (157,000) more working from home in 2015 than in 2005.

However, men still account for the majority of homeworkers, with 912,000 regularly working from home in 2015, compared to 609,000 women.

Older employees are more likely to work from home, with 454,000 in their forties and 414,000 in their fifties home-working.

The South West has the highest proportion of home workers in the UK (1 in 12) followed by the East of England (1 in 14) and the South East (1 in 16). 

By contrast, Northern Ireland has the lowest proportion of homeworkers in the UK, with just 1 in 48 employees saying they regularly work at home.

The industries with the highest shares of home workers are IT, agriculture and construction.

The TUC says that despite the increase in home working over the past decade employers are not keeping up with demand.

Government research shows that another 4 million UK workers would like to work from home for at least some of their working week but are not given the chance.

The TUC says there are many benefits to home-working, provided it is properly managed.

People can save time and money on costly commutes, while the increased flexibility it provides gives people more control over their working time, as well as making it easier to balance work with caring responsibilities and the school run.

Home-working is also an important way for disabled people to access the labour market. Around 160,000 people with a disability currently work from home.

TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said:

"Modern home-working is good for the economy, as it helps businesses hold on to talented staff and boosts productivity. And it allows those with caring responsibilities or a disability greater access to the jobs market.

"While home-working may not work in all professions, I would urge employers to look at the value it can bring to their business and their workforce."

Phil Flaxton, Chief Executive of WorkWiseUK, which organises National Work From Home Day, said:

“The structure of our economy and consequently our workplaces has changed significantly. 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 office based, 9-5 work patterns, to be replaced by more home-based, flexible ways and periods of work.”

“Such fundamental change towards home-working is recognised by increasing numbers of inspired, and more trusting Employers.”

“They recognise that by changing outdated working practices and implementing a Smarter Working strategy, such as home-working, provides them with an opportunity to set a road map for real work force transformation, creating benefits for their Employees, themselves as well as contributing to the growth of the UK economy.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Number of employees who regularly work from home

2005

2015

Men

815,000

912,000

Women

452,000

609,000

All

1,280,000

1,521,000

Source: ONS Labour Force Survey Q4

Number of employees who regularly work from home by nation/region in 2015

Number

% of workforce

North East

61,000

5.6%

North West

152,000

5.2%

Yorkshire and the Humber

108,000

5.0%

East Midlands

116,000

6.0%

West Midlands

126,000

5.5%

East

175,000

6.9%

London

190,000

5.3%

South east

230,000

6.3%

South West

184,000

8.3%

Wales

60,000

5.0%

Scotland

104,000

4.5%

Northern Ireland

14,000

2.1%

UK

1,521,000

5.7%

Source: ONS Labour Force Survey Q4

Number of employees who regularly work from home by industry in 2015

Number

% workforce

Agriculture forestry and fishing

40,000

24.6%

Manufacturing

160,000

4.8%

Electricity, gas and air supply

15,000

8.6%

Water, sewage and waste

13,000

6.0%

Construction

157,000

11.8%

Wholesale and retail

121,000

3.2%

Transport and storage

51,000

3.8%

Accommodation and food services

26,000

1.2%

Information and communication

174,000

16.7%

Finance and insurance

53,000

4.5%

Real estate

31,000

11.0%

Professional, scientific and technical

167,000

10.5%

Admin and support

107,000

8.9%

Public administration and defence

72,000

3.0%

Education

82,000

2.7%

Health and social work

148,000

3.9%

Arts, entertainment and recreation

32,000

5.0%

Other service activities

53,000

9.8%

All industries

1,521,000

5.7%

Source: ONS Labour Force Survey Q4

Number of employees who regularly work from home by age in 2015

Number

% workforce

16-19

29,000

2.8%

20-29

156,000

2.6%

30-39

160,000

2.7%

40-49

454,000

7.4%

50-59

415,000

8.0%

60 and above

195,000

9.7%

All ages

1,521,000

5.7%

Source: ONS Labour Force Survey Q4

- More information about National Work from Home Day is available at www.workwiseuk.org

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @The_TUC and follow the TUC press team @tucnews
 

Contacts:

WorkWiseUK:
Phil Flaxton M: 07831 112639 E: [email protected]

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