More of us are working from home than ever before – an estimated 8 million employees now enjoy flexible working, according to figures from This is Money and Lloyds Bank.
This is way above the figure from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which estimates there are 4.2 million remote workers across the UK. This new data suggests that a quarter of all employees now work from home at least one day a week, but why are more and more of us turning to flexible working.
What’s driving the work from home revolution?
A better work/life balance has always been a big benefit of working from home – those who are offered the benefit usually report better mental health – seven-out-of-10 who took part in this study reported they felt less stressed as a result of their working arrangement.
This latest study also found that childcare was a big issue, as more than three-in-five flexible workers save money on childcare and caring, while getting household tasks done during the working day also ranks was also a big consideration.
And for any bosses reading this who are worried about work from home staff doing housework while on the clock, bear in mind that home workers are usually more productive than office staff.
More than half (54%) said that not having to live in a major city was a huge benefit, which suggests that cutting out the morning commute is a massive plus point for employees.
Not having to live in a major city is also cited as a benefit by 54 per cent of those who work flexibly, while
How is home working on the rise?
Better technology is the simple answer – as more homes get high-speed internet connections and more office jobs can be done using laptops and smartphones along with apps such as Slack and Trello, so more people can work from home as effectively as they can from the office.
And to make sure no one misses out on those all important meetings and catch-ups, it also helps to have a reliable conference call provider.
Employers looking to cut costs could also play a part, as remote working can cut the cost of renting out expensive office space.
Will the 2020s be the decade of remote working?
Although the average number of home workers has remained pretty steady across the EU over the last decade – accounting 5.2% of employees aged 15 to 64 – the Netherlands has the highest share of regular home workers, with at 14%, followed by Finland with 13.3%.
But, over the same period, the share of those who sometimes work from home increased from 5.8 % in 2008 to 8.3% in 2018. And it’s likely that number could increase over the next decade, thanks largely to rapid increases in technology, especially with 5G on the horizon.