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Homeworking change is here to stay, ONS survey suggests

23 February 2023

 

New survey results from the Office for National Statistics show that working from home and hybrid working have continued at much higher levels than before the pandemic, right through to the beginning of this year. In the most recent period (25 January to 5 February 2023) around 40% of working adults reported having worked from home at some point in the past seven days.

Before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, only around 12% of working adults reported working from home.

The most recent data comes from the Public Opinions and Social Trends Survey, which uses data from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN). This shows that though levels of working from home peaked during the pandemic - with almost half of working adults (49%) reporting having worked from home at some point in the past seven days in the first half of 2020 - two years later in Spring 2022, when guidance to work from home was lifted in Great Britain, around 38% of working adults still reported having worked from home.

Throughout 2022 the percentage of working adults reporting having worked from home varied between 25% and 40%, without a clear upward or downward trend says ONS. With the latest results showing it is still at around 40% the ONS says this that this suggests that homeworking is resilient to pressures such as the changing of, and end to, Covid restrictions and increases in the cost of living.

The new data shows that among working adults who have worked in the last seven days, 16% reported working from home only, and 28% both working from home and travelling to work over the period September 2022 to January 2023.

Workers in the highest income band, those who were educated to degree level or above, and those in professional occupations were most likely to report home only or hybrid working.

Self-employed workers were twice as likely to only work from home (32%) compared with employees (14%). London residents reported the highest levels of hybrid working, with 4 in 10 workers both working from home and travelling to work.

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