According to figures announced by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), the number of workers who are based at home has fallen to 12.8 per cent of the workforce.

Prior to the recession the popularity of this type arrangement had increased by 227,000 workers over a period of five years, to bring the total number of home workers to 3.7 million.

The TUC believes that the reason for the slight fall in growth is due to high unemployment and job insecurity. However, it argues that this type of working can have many business benefits including office cost savings, easing congestion and helping staff to manage their workload more effectively.

“Over the last five years, more employers and staff have embraced working from home, though recent job insecurity has made some staff reluctant to ask for it,” commented, TUC General Secretary, Brendan Barber. “The tough economic climate makes the business case for homeworking even stronger, and unions are encouraging more businesses to give it a try.”

Although flexible homeworking is not suitable for all job types, the TUC argues that it is still viable on a regular or occasional basis.