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Work From Home statistics: Essential Insights for Every UK SME

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Author: TWC
Date published: 3rd October 2023
In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the most essential work from home stats, examining the underlying factors and exploring their potential implications for both businesses and employees. This analysis will also draw connections to our previous blog post on Microsoft Teams statistics, showcasing how these evolving work patterns intersect with the digital tools and technologies that drive collaboration and enhance productivity.
As digital transformation gathers momentum, organisations worldwide relentlessly review and adapt their operational frameworks. The United Kingdom, a key nexus of innovation and industry, has keenly felt these shifts. These Work from home statistics, underscore how remote working, once viewed as a peripheral or supplementary approach, has experienced a significant transformation in contemporary times.

Over the brief span from September 2022 to January 2023, our nation witnessed a telling shift in employment paradigms. A substantial 16% of the working adult population asserted a complete transition to home-based roles, eschewing the conventional office environment entirely. Concurrently, an intriguing 28% reported the adoption of a hybrid model, seamlessly integrating the comforts of home with the familiarities of on-site engagements.

These statistics, more than mere numbers, chart a new course in understanding the professional landscapes of the future and the ever-evolving preferences of the British workforce. In this article, we delve deep into these work from home statistics, shedding light on the underlying factors and the potential ramifications for businesses and employees alike.

TOP 10 Insights and Trends of Work from Home Statistics

Visual: Table with Trends and Insights of Work from home statistics
Insight Most Important Points
Escalation of Hybrid Work in the UK – Growing “work from home” practices. – Diverse workforce expectations.
Impact on Security – Increased cybersecurity threats. – Emphasis on data protection and secure access.
– Solutions: tight access protocols, cybersecurity measures, employee training, VPNs, and multi-factor authentication.
Demographics of UK’s Remote Workers – Variable trends by region, age, and industry.
– Scotland’s significant increase in remote work.
Income and Occupation Trends – Correlation between higher earnings and remote work feasibility.
– High adoption among professionals.
Beneficial Responses from Work from Home Model – Benefits: work-life balance, reduced commute, potential productivity increase.
– Challenges: isolation, blurred boundaries.
Improving Work-Life Balance in the UK – Shift towards remote work enhancing work-life balance.
– Challenges: isolation, remote team management.
Industry-Wide Adoption of Remote Work – Diverse sectoral trends, Information and Communication sector leading.
Understanding UK Businesses’ Shift to Work from Home Model – Enhanced well-being, productivity, job satisfaction.
– Concerns: mental well-being, isolation.
Elevating Staff Well-Being in the UK – Remote work’s positive impact on staff well-being and job satisfaction.
Security Concerns and Solutions in UK’s Remote Work Landscape – 57% IT decision-makers report increased data breach risks.
– Solutions: employee training, secure devices, VPNs, multi-factor authentication, software updates, physical security.

1# Escalation of Hybrid Work in the UK

▶Sustained growth in “work from home” practises is anticipated to maintain a prominent role in the UK’s employment landscape.
▶Diverse expectations from the workforce, seeking a balance between remote and on-site employment.
Influential Factors:
▶Evolution of work patterns, technological advancements, and organisational policies


2# Impact on Security

▶Increased cybersecurity incidents, insider threats, and phishing attacks.
▶Data protection and secure remote access are significant concerns.
▶Tight access protocols, robust cybersecurity measures, and employee training.
▶Utilisation of secure technologies like VPNs and multi-factor authentication.


3# Demographics of UK’s Remote Workers

▶Variable trends across regions, age groups, and industries.
▶Scotland marked the most significant percentage increase in remote working.


4# Income and Occupation Trends

Correlation between higher hourly earnings and the feasibility of working from home.
A high propensity for working from home is observed among professional roles such as lawyers, accountants, and managers.


5# Beneficial Responses from Work from Home Model

Enhanced work-life balance, reduced commute time, and potentially increased productivity and job satisfaction.
Sense of isolation, blurred lines between professional and personal life.


6# Improving Work-Life Balance in the UK

Significant shift towards “work from home” approach, contributing to enhanced work-life equilibrium and reduced commuting hours.
Potential feelings of isolation and difficulties in managing remote teams.


7# Industry-Wide Adoption of Remote Work

Diverse trends across different sectors; Information and Communication sector leading remote work adoption.


8# Understanding UK Businesses’ Shift to Work from Home Model

Enhanced well-being, self-asserted productivity, and heightened job satisfaction noted.

▶Diminished mental well-being due to isolation in remote working environments.


#9 Elevating Staff Well-Being in the UK

Remote work contributes positively to overall staff well-being and job satisfaction.


#10 Security Concerns and Solutions in UK’s Remote Work Landscape

▶57% of IT decision-makers cite increased exposure to data breach risks.

Comprehensive employee training, provision of secure devices, use of VPNs, multi-factor authentication, regular software updates, and ensuring physical security.

Assessing the Work from home Trend in the UK

The elevated instances of home-based employment have precipitated comprehensive contemplation by numerous individuals and organisations concerning the ramifications on local labour markets and consumption. It is critical to acknowledge the potential for diverse individual expectations, with some employees possibly favouring a distinct equilibrium between remote and on-site work.

The persistence of this emerging trend of work from home system will be inherently subject to a variety of factors, encompassing the continuous evolution of work patterns, progressive technological enhancements, and the policies set forth by organisations. As remote employment perpetuates offering noteworthy flexibility and advantages to both employees and employers alike, its stature is projected to remain eminent within the professional landscape of the UK.

Furthermore, it is crucial to accentuate a formerly identified weighting anomaly within the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, leading to possible disparities in the representation of population totals within the datasets when juxtaposed with official population assessments disclosed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Despite this identified issue, it is not anticipated to adversely impact ensuing analyses or the approximate figures to be presented in the imminent release or datasets.

Visual: All UK regions observed an over 50% rise in homeworking
Alteration in Rates of Homeworking and Non-Homeworking from October to December 2019 and January to March 2022, Across UK Regions, Without Seasonal Adjustment

Technological Facilitators of the Work From Home model in the UK

Technological progress has been pivotal in ensuring a smooth transition to and sustained implementation of remote work within the UK. A notable technology garnering widespread recognition in this context is Microsoft Teams. This exhaustive collaborative platform offers an array of features encompassing video conferencing, meetings, calling, chat, and file-sharing functionalities. It empowers individuals and teams to establish robust connections, collaborate efficiently, and maintain seamless communication, irrespective of geographical locations.(Source)

Microsoft Teams has ascended to an indispensable role in facilitating the “Work from home” model, offering a consolidated platform for employees to engage and collaborate on diverse projects. It delivers multiple functionalities designed to augment productivity and refine communication processes.

Key attributes of Microsoft Teams include:

▶Video Conferencing: This feature enables users to organise and participate in video conferences and virtual meetings with colleagues, clients, or partners, supplemented by functionalities like screen sharing, background blur, and a together mode.

▶Chat and Collaboration: Users can indulge in real-time chat dialogues with individual or group counterparts within Microsoft Teams, along with the ability to share files, co-author documents, and seamlessly collaborate on various projects.

▶Calling: The platform allows users to initiate and receive calls directly within its interface, complete with advanced calling features encompassing group calling, voicemail, and call transfers.

▶Integration with Office 365: A seamless integration with other Office 365 applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive, enabling users to access and collaborate on files directly within the Teams interface.


With its extensive adoption across diverse industries within the UK, Microsoft Teams stands out due to its user-friendly interface, comprehensive feature suite, and robust integration capabilities, thereby emerging as a preferred selection for remote work collaboration. By capitalising on technologies akin to Microsoft Teams, organisations continue to uphold robust productivity levels while adeptly adapting to work-from-home mode configurations.

Microsoft Teams: A Pillar in the UK’s Remote Working Shift

Microsoft Teams has emerged as a cornerstone in enhancing efficient remote work across the UK. The past year has seen the daily active users of Microsoft Teams almost double, soaring from 145 million in 2021 to an impressive 300 million in 2023.(Source) Remarkably, between March and June 2020, the platform’s growth rate skyrocketed by 894%,(Source)  outpacing other collaboration platforms. Over one million organisations globally have embraced Microsoft Teams as their primary platform for messaging.
Total Number of Microsoft Teams Users from 2017-2023
Year Users in millions
2017 2
2018 8
2019 20
2020 75
2021 145
2022 270
2023 300
These figures eloquently underscore the extensive adoption and burgeoning popularity of Microsoft Teams in the UK. The platform provides a well-rounded suite of functionalities, inclusive of video conferencing, chat, collaboration, and seamless integration with other Office 365 applications, enabling users to hold video conferences, partake in real-time chat dialogues, share files, and collaborate effectively within the platform’s ecosystem.

The invaluable role of Microsoft Teams in empowering work-from-home model cannot be overstated. By offering a centralised platform for communication and collaboration, it stands out as an exemplary tool for remote work. Its intuitive interface, comprehensive array of features, and robust integration capabilities cement its position as the favoured choice for myriad organisations spanning various sectors.

Statistics on the Rise of Hybrid Work in the UK

Percentage of Employed Adults Commuting to Work, Great Britain, January 2021 to May 2022
These figures compellingly suggest that the tendency towards the Work from Home model is poised to be a lasting feature in the UK’s employment landscape. The heightened incidence of home-based work has prompted extensive reflection among individuals and organisations concerning the consequential impact on local labour markets and consumption. Nonetheless, it is essential to acknowledge the potential diversity in individual expectations, with a segment of the workforce possibly seeking a distinct equilibrium between remote and on-site employment.(source)

The enduring presence of this remote working trend will invariably hinge on diverse factors, including the evolution of work patterns, advancements in technology, and organisational policies. Given the sustained provision of flexibility and myriad benefits for both employees and employers by remote work, it stands to remain a significant element of the UK’s professional terrain.

Impact on Security: Tackling Breaches in the Shift

The transition towards work from home model in the UK has ushered in an array of security challenges that organisations must meticulously address. With employees operating from assorted locations and utilising personal devices, there is a palpable expansion in the attack surface for cyber malefactors. Highlighted below are pivotal security concerns and corresponding enhancements to bolster security:

▶Cybersecurity Incidents: The onset of widespread remote work has been paralleled by a significant surge in cybersecurity incidents. The amplified vulnerability, with home devices being used for professional tasks, has not gone unnoticed by cybercriminals. It is imperative for organisations to remain astute and integrate robust cybersecurity measures to fortify against such threats.

▶Insider Threats: The increase in the work-from-home workforce has exacerbated the “insider threat” dimension. This era has witnessed a rise in both the frequency and financial implications of insider threats. It is paramount for organisations to enforce stringent access controls, monitor user activities assiduously, and administer regular cybersecurity training to staff, mitigating such internal risks.

▶Data Protection: Remote work propels data protection and regulatory compliance, such as adherence to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), to the forefront of concerns. Organisations must ensure remote staff are conversant with data protection stipulations, furnish secure communication conduits, and employ encryption methods to safeguard delicate information.

▶Phishing Attacks: The susceptibility of remote workers to phishing onslaughts is a pressing concern, potentially leading to data compromises and ancillary security incidents. It’s essential to enlighten employees about the nuances of phishing ploys, advocate the employment of multi-factor authentication, and establish comprehensive email filtering systems to curtail phishing endeavors.

▶Secure Remote Access: Ensuring secure remote access is pivotal. Utilisation of technologies like virtual private networks (VPNs) or secure remote desktop protocols (RDPs) significantly fortifies data transmissions between remote staff and corporate networks.

▶Endpoint Security: The frequent use of personal apparatus for professional duties necessitates stringent endpoint security measures encompassing antivirus applications, firewalls, and regular software updates, safeguarding against malware and diverse security hazards.

▶Employee Awareness: The role of employee awareness in sustaining a secure remote work milieu is undeniable. Comprehensive cybersecurity training, dissemination of secure remote work best practices, and fostering a culture of prompt reporting of any security anomalies or dubious activities are vital.

Delving into the Demographics of the UK’s Work From Home Employees

Visual: Alteration in the Percentage of Homeworking, by Gender, from October to December 2019 and January to March 2022, UK, Unadjusted for Seasonal Variations

Income and Occupation Trends in the UK’s Remote Work

The demographic panorama of remote workers in the United Kingdom encompasses a wide spectrum. Here are some pivotal observations:

▶Regional Patterns: The escalation in home-based work exhibits variation across the diverse regions of the UK, with Scotland marking the most significant percentage augmentation at 203.5%, followed by Northern Ireland at 56.4%.(Source)

▶Age Group: The year 2020 witnessed disparate trends in the number of employees predominantly working from home, with variations discernible across diverse age brackets.

Industry Composition: Evaluating the industrial breakdown of remote workers is crucial for a comprehensive understanding of the demographics involved in remote employment.

▶Occupation: The professional roles occupied by remote workers further contribute to delineating the multifaceted demographic engaged in remote working activities.

Visual: Shift in Homeworking Percentage by Occupation, October to December 2019 and January to March 2022, UK, Not Seasonally Adjusted 
In relation to income brackets, there’s a noticeable correlation between higher hourly earnings and the feasibility of engaging in remote work. For example, chief executives and senior officials, enjoying a median earning of £44.08 per hour, find themselves among the echelons most equipped for remote work, akin to financial managers and directors (£31.38) and programmers, along with software development professionals (£21.97).(Source)

In terms of occupational trends, the prevalence of remote work spans a myriad of professions. Noteworthy is the high propensity for remote work among professional roles such as lawyers and accountants, where a substantial 69% can work from home. This is closely followed by managers, directors, and senior officials at 67%, and administrative and secretarial roles at 63%.(Source)

Constructive Impacts of Remote Work in the UK

Visual: Survey on the Most Significant Benefits of Flexible Work in the UK
benefits of flexible work
The work-from-home model presents a multitude of advantages for employees, notably enhancing work-life balance, bolstering autonomy, and notably diminishing commute durations. A survey orchestrated by Workable underscores that UK “work-from-home” employees, on average, conserve an hour daily, a time otherwise expended on commuting. This spare time can be judiciously allocated for personal pursuits, be it exercise, hobbies, or quality time with kin and allies.(source)

Improving Work-Life Balance in the UK: A Work From Home Perspective

Visual: Future intentions of employees in Great Britain who adopted remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, measured from 21 to 25 April 2021 and 3 to 13 February 2022
Between April 2021 and February 2022, the percentage of homeworkers intending to predominantly work from home increased by 12 points.

Beyond these perks, remote employment potentially augments productivity and job contentment. A comprehensive study by the University of Cardiff discerns that individuals working remotely cite elevated levels of job satisfaction coupled with diminished stress levels in contrast to their counterparts stationed in offices.(Source)

Nevertheless, it’s pivotal to acknowledge the inherent challenges of working from home. Certain employees might grapple with a sense of isolation or a perceived detachment from their peers. The demarcation between professional and personal life may blur, adding to the complexity. Employers, too, might encounter hurdles in efficaciously managing remote contingents and ensuring sustained productivity and engagement.

In conclusion, while it’s not devoid of its obstacles, remote working stands out as a beneficial arrangement for numerous UK employees, offering an enriched work-life equilibrium, augmented autonomy, and a notable reduction in commute time.

Industry-Wide Adoption of Permanent Remote Work in the UK

The UK’s Information and Communication Sector Leading Work From Home Adoption

Visual: Proportion of active UK businesses implementing or considering permanent remote work, detailed by industry, for periods 16-29 November 2020 and 4-17 April 2022.
The assimilation of sustained remote working demonstrates diverse trends across distinct sectors within the United Kingdom. Insights from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal pronounced fluctuations in the percentage of businesses advocating or intending the adoption of a perpetual work-from-home model from November 2020 to April 2022.

These work from home statistics underscore the inclination of certain sectors towards the adoption of a continuous work from home work model more than others. Nonetheless, it is pivotal to recognise the potential for diverse attitudes and practices within each specific industry.

Understanding UK Businesses’ Shift to Remote Work

The POSTbrief publication furnishes a comprehensive analysis of the influence of remote and hybrid working patterns on individuals and corporate entities throughout the UK. Furthermore, the report elucidates the broader consequences associated with these work modalities. It accentuates pivotal developments in remote and hybrid working, contrasting the phases before and amid the COVID-19 pandemic, delineating variances based on demographic and group-specific factors, and elucidating nascent research outcomes on the ramifications for both employees and organisations.

As articulated in the report, the period preceding the pandemic witnessed a modest but consistent surge in the adoption of remote and hybrid work arrangements. During January to December of 2019, roughly 12% of the UK’s workforce had engaged in at least a single day of home-based work within the prior week. Concurrently, a mere 5% pronounced a predominant home-based work routine. However, the onset of the pandemic instigated a pronounced shift. By June 2020, approximately 49% of the UK workforce had executed at least one day of home-based work. This encompasses 11% who did so sporadically and a significant 38% who committed to an entirely to work-from-home model. While the relaxation of pandemic-associated restrictions has seen a tapering of these figures, they undeniably supersede the pre-pandemic rates. As of September 2022, 22% of the UK workforce reported at least one home-based work day within the past week, with 13% affirming a wholly remote work pattern.

Exploring Additional Aspects in the UK’s Remote Work Scenario

Visual: Table of work from home statistics, featuring additional aspects and key information
Aspect Key Information
Disability and Health Similar rates of homeworking for disabled and non-disabled workers, 18% for disabled, 16% for non-disabled. Long-standing health conditions have a similar trend, 18% vs. 15%.
Ethnicity “Black or Black British” group less likely to have remote work options (60%) compared to “White British/Irish” (46%). Caution needed due to confidence intervals.
Parental Status Parents of dependent children more likely to engage in hybrid working (31%) compared to those without dependents (26%). Non-parents more likely to have no remote work option (48%) compared to parents (42%).
Security Concerns 57% of IT decision-makers in the UK see increased data breach risks in remote work settings. 20% of organizations have experienced security breaches. Solutions include comprehensive employee training, secure devices, VPN use, multi-factor authentication, data encryption, software updates, secure document management, and physical security at home.

Disability and Health:

In the landscape of the work form home model in the UK, the presence of a disability or long-term illness has shown a minimal impact on the prevalence of homeworking. The work from home statistics reflect similarity for both disabled and non-disabled workers, with 18% of disabled workers engaging in homeworking compared to 16% of their non-disabled counterparts. (Source)The same trend is observed among individuals with long-standing health conditions, where 18% report working from home, closely mirroring the 15% reported by those without such conditions.


Examining the ethnic dimension within remote working reveals some slight disparities among various groups. Employees belonging to the “Black or Black British” ethnic group predominantly report a higher tendency to travel to work with no option for remote working 60%. This is contrasted with the “White British/Irish” ethnic group, where 46% report similar circumstances. It’s crucial to approach further ethnic comparisons with caution due to the extensive confidence intervals.

Parental Status:

In the context of parental status, parents of dependent children report higher instances of engaging in hybrid working 31% compared to individuals without dependents 26%. This trend remains relatively consistent regardless of the age of the dependent children, with 31% and 32% of parents with children under and over five years respectively, engaging in hybrid working. Interestingly, non-parents have reported a higher likelihood (48%) to travelling to work with no option for remote working compared to parents (42%).

Security Concerns and Solutions in the UK’s Remote Work Landscape

In the UK, the transition to remote working has undeniably escalated various security concerns, accentuating the vulnerability to cyber threats, especially for employees operating from disparate, unsecured locations. A pertinent study reveals that 57% of IT decision-makers assert the increased exposure to data breach risks (Source)attributed to remote working settings. This situation has already culminated in security breaches in 20% of organisations, underscoring the paramount need to bolster security infrastructures.(source)

In light of these pressing challenges, consider the subsequent solutions and strategies to enhance and solidify security in a remote working paradigm:

▶Comprehensive Employee Training: Prioritise extensive cybersecurity training for all personnel, elaborating on the identification and management of phishing attempts, robust password protocols, and prudent online navigation.

▶Provision of Secure Devices: Allocate dedicated, company-owned and configured devices to employees, ensuring a standardised and secure operating environment.

▶Secure Network Utilisation: Advocate for the habitual use of virtual private networks (VPNs), ensuring a secure, encrypted connection for remote access to organisational resources.

▶Multi-Factor Authentication: Enforce the implementation of multi-factor authentication for every application and service accessed by remote personnel, enhancing the security threshold.

▶Robust Data Protection: Ensure the encryption of sensitive data both in transit and at rest, safeguarding critical information from unauthorised access.

▶Regular Software Updates: Maintain the currency of software and operating systems across all devices, mitigating the risks of known vulnerabilities and potential threats.

▶Secure Document Management: Educate the workforce on the crucial need for secure disposal of sensitive documents, endorsing shredding prior to discarding.

▶Physical Security Assurance: Promote the establishment of a dedicated and secure workspace at home, ensuring the physical security of remote working environments.

Concluding Observations on the UK’s Work from Home Statistics

In conclusion, a comprehensive review of data and statistics reveals a significant shift in the UK from traditional office settings to a “work from home” model. This transformation has yielded numerous benefits, including increased flexibility and potential cost savings for businesses. However, it’s not without its challenges. Notably, feelings of isolation have been reported among remote employees, highlighting the importance of promoting employee well-being and fostering remote team cohesion. One thing remains certain: the “work from home” paradigm appears set to become a lasting feature of the modern workforce. As such, businesses in the UK and globally must ensure that they equip their teams with appropriate tools and invest diligently in protocols and training, especially in the realm of cybersecurity, to safeguard their operations and data.

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FAQs on Work from Home Statistics

How many people in the UK worked from home before the pandemic?
Before the pandemic, approximately 1.7 million people worked from home in the UK.
Are businesses saving money due to Work From Home Model?
According to a report by Global Workplace Analytics, employers can save over $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year. This is based on the assumption that if everyone who wanted to work remotely did so just half of the time, the total money saved would be over $700 billion annually
Does working from home increase productivity?
According to a report by Global Workplace Analytics, employees working remotely are 35-40% more efficient than those in offices, resulting in businesses saving approximately $600 billion annually from reduced workplace interruption, the report underscores that home working results in a 13% improvement in performance, a 50% reduction in staff turnover, an increase in productivity by 77%, and 52% fewer absences.
Is Work From Home good for mental health?
There are many conflicting viewpoints about whether or not working from home is detrimental or beneficial for mental health. Overall, it seems that the impact of working from home on mental health is dependent on various factors such as the individual’s lifestyle choices, work environment, and salary.
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