Almost half (46.4%) of employees did some of their work from home during April, with the vast majority stating this was because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
New figures published by the Office for National Statistics today revealed 86% of people who worked at home at some point during April 2020 did so as a result of the crisis.
Working from home
Only 35.2% worked the same number of hours as usual, 34.4% worked fewer hours and 30.3% worked more hours than they would normally.
Women were slightly more likely than men to do some work from home (47.5% compared with 45.7%) and both sexes were similarly likely to cite the pandemic as the reason for doing so.
Workers aged 16-24 were the least likely to be able to work from home during April (30.2%). This is compared with 54.3% of people aged 25-34 and 51.3% of people in the 35-49 age bracket.
London residents were more likely to so some work from home than people in other regions of the UK. Some 57.2% London residents worked from home during April, compared with 35.3% of people in the West Midlands, which had the lowest rate of home workers during that month.
People in jobs requiring higher qualifications and levels of experience did more work from home than those in manual roles or skilled trade occupations. Some 69.6% of professionals did some of their role from home, whereas only 5.4% of process plant and machine operatives and 14.9% of people in caring, leisure and other service occupations could work remotely.
The figures clearly highlight how the pandemic changed the way people work “pretty much overnight”, said Sarah Palmer-Granville, founder of interior design company SPG Interior Design.
“The conventional office has by no means been relegated to the dustbin of history but what’s already very clear is that many companies are now adjusting their models to this new, and far more cost-effective, way of working,” she said.
Numerous surveys have found many workers believe they are more productive when working from home. Research published this week by printing equipment company Cartridge People found 50% of office workers felt they got more work done at home, with only 13% admitting they were easily distracted.