Posted: Tue 14th Feb 2023
One in three self-employed individuals did all their work from home between September 2022 and January 2023, according to official figures.
The data by the Office for National Statistics also found that self-employed workers were less likely to have travelled to work without the option to work from home (34%) compared with employees (47%).
Home working increased significantly during the coronavirus pandemic but the report shows that the trend remains in place despite the removal of all restrictions as many businesses embrace hybrid working models.
An overall 44% of workers reported home or hybrid working between September 2022 and January 2023. Before the pandemic, only around one in eight adults worked from home.
Those with higher incomes were more likely to work from home with 80% of individuals earning over £50,000 reporting home or hybrid working. In contrast, only 14% of workers earning up to £10,000 did the same.
At 6%, younger workers continue were least likely to only work from home, with those aged 16 to 24 years old showing the highest rate of travelling to work at 79%. Workers aged 34 to 44 had the lowest rate at 48%. The group aged 16 to 24 years old also had the highest rate of workers without the ability to work from home, with 65% reporting this.
The impact of home working on businesses
The ONS also looked at the link between spending and visits to offices by comparing the Bank of England Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS) records of credit and debit card spending with Google's Workplace Mobility Index which records how mny people are travelling to work.
During the pandemic in 2021, spending increased when more people travelled to work. However, in 2022 this link decreased. The ONS said "as the UK moves away from coronavirus pandemic restrictions, people travelling to work has become a less important determinant of spending".
Commenting on the figures, David Jinks from ParcelHero said:
"That means stores and hospitality-related businesses can no longer rely on office-based workers increasing their spending when they travel to work. That's why an omnichannel sales strategy, not over-reliant on town centre footfall, is increasingly essential.
"As retail settles to a new equilibrium, it will be those retailers with strong in-store and online sales that will ultimately triumph in a post-Covid world."