Written by, Bojana Atanasovska
Updated August, 1, 2022
Working from any location and having a flexible schedule is ideal, right?
Well, over 4 million people across the UK are already living that dream. And now with the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, that number is only bound to go higher.
That said, if you want to learn more about working from home jobs and opportunities, make sure you keep on reading these remote work statistics from the UK.
(Statista) (ONS UK)
The number of remote jobs and workers has dramatically increased and will continue to go up in the future. For example, in 2019, over 4 million people worked from home, a rise from 1.69 million twenty years ago.
But how many Brits are working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown?
Analyses from the Office for National Statistics indicate that in April 2020, 46.6% of UK employees did some work from home. The majority of those, or 86%, were working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Going up to 38%, the number of people working exclusively from home reached an all-time high in June 2020. What’s more, the remote workforce, statistics suggest, increased by 3% between May and September 2020, i.e. from 21% to 24%.
As companies are becoming more open to telecommuting and workers are expressing concerns over potential health issues, the number of job vacancies that allow for remote work increased drastically. In fact, working from home stats show that in November 2020 there were 80,700 remote jobs available as opposed to only 26,600 in November the previous year.
34.4% of homeworkers admit that they worked fewer hours than usual. However, a higher percentage of the remote working population of the UK, or 35.2% to be precise, say that they did the same hours, while 30.3% report they worked more hours than usual.
There are many remote work pros and cons, but for most workers, the perks outweigh the drawbacks. Thus, nearly two-thirds of respondents in a 2020 survey said they enjoyed working from home since it allowed them to spend more time with their family. This feeling was even more prevalent among employees with young children—72% of them were thrilled to work from home.
A closer look at UK work-from-home demographics reveals that more women work remotely than men. Specifically, 47.5% of women were more likely to work online in April 2020 compared to 45.7% of men.
(ONS UK) (Statista)
54.3% of Brits aged 25 to 34 were working from home, the latest telecommuting statistics show. Strangely enough, a relatively large percentage of older adults in Britain were also working from home in 2020. Numbers indicate that 42% of the 50-64 age group and 43.1% of those aged 65 and over were likely to work remotely.
(ONS UK) (Statista)
Unsurprisingly, 16 to 24-year-olds account for the smallest share of remote workers — only 30.2% of them worked remotely last year. However, a Statista survey of 1.300 people indicates that 69% of people aged between 16-24 were looking for online work from home in the UK.
Although younger generations were less likely to work remotely, they were also the biggest age group to work from home because of the coronavirus pandemic. 95.2% of homeworking people aged 16-34 said that the main reason for remote working was the coronavirus as did 76.1% of people aged over 50.
Considering the number of working from home jobs available in London, it comes as no surprise that 57.2% of the capital’s residents do some work remotely. The North-West and South-West region are ranked second with 49.4% of remote workers each.
Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland had around the same number of remote workers last year. That said, Scotland leads the pack with 44% of people doing work from home, followed by Northern Ireland with 40.9% and Wales with 40.7%.
Although 46.4% of home workers were white, remote working stats show us that a higher percentage of people who worked from home were ethnic minorities. Specifically, black, mixed, Pakistani, Chinese and other ethnic people made up 48.1% of remote workers.
Interestingly, due to the pandemic, 67.3% of managers, directors, and senior officials were likely to do some work from home. However, people in professional occupations, or 69.6%, to be precise, were the most likely to do some of their work remotely.
As it might be expected, jobs in sales and services, as well as process plants, i.e. jobs that require a physical presence, were the least likely to be done remotely.
Working from home comes with many perks. Still, a survey carried out in 2020 identified a flexible schedule as one of the most significant benefits. On top of that, UK workforce statistics point to lack of commute (43%) as the second biggest advantage and savings (33%) as the third.
In addition to lower stress levels, 25% chose better health, both mental and physical, as the most significant advantage of working from home. Another 34% said that remote work allows them to care for pets and ageing relatives, while 15% appreciate the opportunity to live and work wherever they want.
(Statista) (Yahoo Finance)
Almost half of workers believe that their work standard has not changed due to remote work, whereas 15% think that working from home has actually improved their working standards.
Employers are also happy with remote work productivity. A 2020 survey shows that 52% of employers believe that homeworking has increased their organisations’ overall productivity level.
A survey examining the impact of telecommuting on the work-life balance of almost 900 marketers in the UK found that the majority were more productive when working remotely. By contrast, only a quarter think that working from home has taken a toll on their personal life.
Remote work can help London commuters save time and money. By avoiding the drive into the office, commuters can save around 23.5 days a year in travel time. On top of that, they will save about £5,114 in travel expenses or 18% of their average salary.
Social isolation was cited as one of the main disadvantages of working from home. Some of the other challenges arising from remote work include: difficulty focusing (mentioned by 30% of workers), lowered motivation (another 30%), and feeling less productive (22%).
Facts about working from home prove that telecommuting has its downsides, as well as benefits. Almost one-third of tech industry workers think they are less likely to be promoted if they work from home, while 24% say that remote work has negatively affected their on-the-job training and development.
The agriculture, forestry, and fishing sector have the largest number of employees working mostly from home—50.3% of them worked remotely in 2019. In comparison, the industry with the least people working from home (5.6%) was the accommodation and food services sector.
22. Copywriting and content writing offers working from home opportunities.
Although there are many work-from-home companies in the UK, with 21.02% remote jobs available, the Copywriting and Content marketing industry is the absolute leader. Next in line are Web development with 15.72% open remote jobs and Journalism with 15.28%.
Quantity surveyor was one of the worst positions for remote workers in the UK as there were less than 1% remote jobs available for this role. It was followed by technicians (1.56%) and construction (2.13%). Graduate work was also not in demand — just 3% of jobs available in this area were remote.
The latest work from home trends shows that more and more tech employees in the UK are searching for jobs that can be done remotely. That said, 8% of them would consider moving to another region, while 71% would change the country if they had the chance to work from home.
A study in Wales on the latest telecommuting trends has shown that 9 out of 10 people who worked remotely during lockdown would like to continue working from home in the future as well.
A 2020 survey shows that 25% of office workers expect to work at least half the time from home after the pandemic. 12%, however, believe they will continue working exclusively from home even after restrictions are lifted.
As a result of fewer people making the trip to the office, almost half of managers and company owners are considering reducing office space. Remote work statistics further indicate that a third are thinking about moving to a remote office entirely.
In light of the growing number of remote workers, a third of UK businesses are now re-evaluating security measures and solutions. By contrast, 45% of companies with a remote workforce believe they have a stable remote access network that would provide a secure connection and support telecommuting.
A whopping 78% of high-ranking managers and 70% of business owners in the UK see telecommuting as their organisations’ future. Increased productivity levels, combined with lower overheads, have prompted so many managers to focus on this trend in the coming period.
With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting traditional workflow across the world, working from home has become the new normal.
Hopefully, these remote work statistics will guide you on how best to find a remote job and help you understand just how significant homeworking is in the 21st century.
Bojana is my name and writing is my game. I am a content writer from Bitola who is always interested in the latest research in almost all areas of life. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English literature and a perfectionist character, both of which help me find the most accurate data and information available. Although I have my head stuck in studies and reports most of the time, I still have a bit of free time during which I enjoy knitting and watching classic 90’s Disney movies.