28 Captivating UK Remote Work Statistics for 2021

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. 

Ten Eye-Opening UK Remote Work Statistics for 2021  

  • In 2019, 4.6 million people were mainly working from home in the UK.
  • The number of positions that allow remote work tripled in 2020. 
  • UK citizens aged between 25 and 34 are most likely to work from home.
  • 50% of workers cited a flexible working schedule as the main advantage of home working in the UK.
  • London commuters save around £5,114 in travel costs by working in their homes.
  • 32% of homeworkers feel socially isolated. 
  • Copywriting and content writing offer working from home opportunities.
  • 71% of UK tech employees would move to another country if they could work remotely.
  • Over 30% of UK office workers think they will continue working from home after the pandemic.
  • 78% of senior managers believe that remote work is the “future” of their companies.

General Remote Work Stats in the UK

UK employees working from home

1. In 2019, 4.6 million people were mainly working from home in 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. 

2. Remote working hit a record-high in mid-June.

(The Guardian) 

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%. 

3. The number of positions that allow remote work tripled in 2020. 

(Yahoo Finance)

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. 

4. 34.4% of remote workers work fewer hours.

(ONS UK)

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.

5. Most employees are happy to be working from home, latest job satisfaction statistics indicate. 

(Yahoo Finance)

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.

Remote Worker Statistics

Remote work UK demographics

6. In 2020, there were slightly more women who worked from home than men.

(ONS UK) 

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.

7. UK citizens aged between 25 and 34 are most likely to work from home.

(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. 

8. 16 to 24-year-olds are the least likely to work from home. 

(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.

9. The pandemic was the main reason why people aged 16 to 34 worked from home.

(ONS 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. 

10. People in London are more likely to work from home than in other regions of the country. 

(ONS UK)

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. 

11. 44% of Scotts did some remote work in 2020.

(ONS UK)

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%.

12. In 2020, 46.4% of home workers were white.

(ONS UK)

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. 

13. People in professions requiring higher qualifications are more likely to work remotely.  

(ONS UK)

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. 

Benefits of Working Remotely

Advantages for working from home in the UK

14. 50% of workers cited a flexible working schedule as the main advantage of home working in the UK.

(Statista)

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.

15. 32% of people in the UK see lower anxiety levels as one of the biggest health benefits of working remotely.

(Statista)

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. 

16. 45% of UK citizens say working from home had no impact on their work productivity.

(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. 

17. 73% of marketers in the UK believe they are more efficient when working remotely.

(Statista)

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.

18. London commuters save around £5,114 in travel costs by working in their homes. 

(Techround)

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.

Downsides to Remote Work

Remote work motivation in the UK

19. 32% of homeworkers feel socially isolated. 

(Employer News)

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%). 

20. 31% of tech workers believe working from home lowers their chances of promotion.

(Information Age)

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. 

Remote Work Statistics by Industry

Remote work jobs in the UK

21. Over half of people in agriculture worked mainly from home in 2019.

(Statista)

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.

(B Daily)

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%.

23. There were only 0.3% remote quantity surveyor jobs available. 

(B Daily)

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 Future of Remote Work

Remote work in the UK after the pandemic.

24. 71% of UK tech employees would move to another country if they could work remotely.

(Fane News)

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.

25. 90% of people in Wales who worked at home during lockdown would like to continue working remotely.

(BBC)

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.

26. Over 30% of UK office workers think they will continue working from home after the pandemic.

(Yahoo Finance) 

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

27. 42% of business owners surveyed in 2020 want to reduce office space.

(Yahoo Finance)

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. 

27. 34% of UK companies are introducing new security solutions to meet remote working requirements. 

(ITProPortal)

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. 

28. 78% of senior managers believe that remote work is the “future” of their companies. 

(Yahoo Finance)

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. 

Conclusion

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.

ABOUT AUTHOR

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.

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