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Working from home has more than doubled in the UK since 2019 says ONS

Office of National Statistics confirms that UK home workers have increased from 4.7 million to 9.9 million during the period. "If organisations want to make hybrid ‘work’ they need to have a fresh look at the office," says Paul Clark, senior VP, EMEA at Poly

The number of people working from home in the UK from October to December 2019 and January to March 2022 has increased by 108.8% according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), confirming that home workers increased from 4.7 million to 9.9 million. The number of homeworkers has increased by more than 50% across all UK regions.

Increases in home working varied across UK regions, but the largest percentage increase in home working was in Scotland, with a 203.5% increase (544,000). The smallest increase was in Northern Ireland, with a 56.4% increase (50,000).

During the same time period, the number of non-homeworkers and regional commuters (those who work in one region but live in a different region) in the UK decreased by 19.7% (down 5.5 million). The decrease in the number of non-homeworkers and regional commuters varied across UK regions with the largest decrease being in London (30.1%, down 1.4 million).

Across the UK, in January to March 2022, 14.3% of people (2.8 million) who did not mainly work from home (non-homeworkers) said they worked from home at least one day in the reference week. This figure was highest in London (24.3%, 627,000) and lowest in the East Midlands (9.1%, 126,000).

“While homeworkers are increasing, organisations must not forget that a large number are returning to the office,” Paul Clark, senior vice president, EMEA at Poly, commented on the findings. “For instance, the younger generation that enjoy the social aspect and the more traditional workers that prefer the office set-up. If organisations want to make hybrid ‘work’ they need to have a fresh look at the office – 77% of organisations are redesigning their offices to add more open plan areas, collaboration spaces and areas to socialise.

“Nearly a third (30%) are planning to reduce the number of desks. Ultimately, employers must meet the needs of all their employees and provide a flexible work environment where people have the tools and spaces they need to stay productive. This will give organisations the best chance of success in a competitive market. The ones that don’t will see their talent walking out the door and risk being put out of business.”