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Number of employees that work from home in the United Kingdom (UK) 1998-2019

In 2019 there were approximately 4.6 million people in the United Kingdom who worked mainly from home, an increase of around 1.69 million people when compared with 1998. While there has evidently been some growth in the number regular teleworkers, as a share of all workers in the United Kingdom the increase only equates to 3.1 percent during the same period. In 1998 this was the equivalent of 11.1 percent of the workforce, compared with 14.2 percent in 1998.

 Demographics of homeworkers

  While advancements in internet connectivity and communication software have enabled more people to work from home than ever before, there are still obvious disparities in the share of homeworkers by industry. Over half of the UK’s agriculture workforce in 2019 regularly worked from home, compared with just 5.6 percent of those that worked in accommodation or food service. In the same year, the region with the highest share of people working from home was South West England at 18.3 percent, while Northern Ireland had the lowest at just 9.4 percent.

Comparisons with Europe

  Across the European Union it was estimated that in 2018, around 15 percent of workers had the ability to work from home, ranging from 35.7 percent of workers in the Netherlands to 0.7 percent in Romania. According to this definition almost a quarter of UK workers were able to telework, placing the UK in top seven countries in terms of its share of regular and irregular homeworkers. Compared with other major European countries the UK was slightly ahead of France, which had a fifth of its workforce classified as able to work from home, and far ahead of Germany which had just one in ten people with this ability.

Number of those in employment who work mainly from home in the United Kingdom from 1998 to 2019

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Release date

March 2020


United Kingdom

Survey time period

1998 to 2019

Supplementary notes

Data for 2015-2019 is defined by the source as: '"people who work mainly at or from home in the UK".

Data for 1998-2014 is taken from a previous report from the ONS called 'Characteristics of Home Workers' released in 2014, with home workers defined as "those who usually spend at least half of their work time using their home."

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Statistics on "Flexible working in the UK"

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