Home catching up with the office as place of work in 2023

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New data shows that working from home, or working part of the week at home – known as hybrid working – is now almost as common as commuting to the office.

In the period September 2022 to January 2023, 44 per cent of workers reported home or hybrid working in the last week, with full time office workers at 56 per cent, said ONS.

Behaviours which changed in the pandemic seem to have largely stuck. Looking at the first half of 2020, ONS says that half of working adults (49 per cent) reported having worked from home at some point in the past seven days.

Since January 2023, the levels are similar with around 40 per cent of working adults saying they worked from home at some point in the past seven days.

Combining home or office working, known as hybrid working, is proving resistant to societal pressures like the cost of living. Photograph: iStock

Home working is resisting broader societal changes: “Throughout 2022 the percentage of working adults reporting having worked from home has varied between 25 per cent and 40 per cent, without a clear upward or downward trend, indicating that homeworking is resilient to pressures such as the end of restrictions and increases in the cost of living,” says ONS.  

However, data suggests employers are not using home working to its full potential. Disabled workers, for example, reported similar levels of homeworking (18 per cent) to people without a disability (16 per cent) and the same was true for people with a long-term health condition like Long Covid.

Yet, disabled workers are less likely to be exhausted and in pain from long commutes to work. They are also more able to manage their health issues and have easier toilet access which improves productively and wellbeing ​by working from home, according to a UNISON survey.

Highest earners, those educated to degree level and professional occupations were also more likely to work from home.

London residents reported the highest levels of hybrid working across Great Britain, with 4 in 10 workers both working from home and travelling to work.

Characteristics of homeworkers, Great Britain ONS study here 


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