June 13, 2014 - Rachel Miller
The number of home-based businesses is rising thanks to low start-up costs and online opportunities.
More than four million people (4.2 million), representing 13% of the total UK workforce, now work from home according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The news comes as changes in the law from this month give all employees the right to request flexible working arrangements.
And a new survey of more than 2,000 home workers by Freelancer.co.uk has found that there has been an increase of 34% in businesses setting up from home in the past 12 months. The ease of working online and the reduced cost of office space are the main reasons for choosing a home-based office.
Those surveyed said they can find new work online as well as partners and suppliers. Many said they looked for other home workers when they were outsourcing work – for instance, 28% said they had hired a home working website designer.
The survey also investigated the habits of home workers. It found that:
Bill Little, director of Freelancer.co.uk, said: "Technological advances have made home working more efficient and effective. The rise of the internet, connecting thousands of home workers, is a key reason, as well as the rise of websites allowing homeworkers to find work and promote their business further afield than their local area.
"Yet with the rise of the micro business being run by one person has also come the need for these businesses to hire people remotely to help them with key tasks, which has further fuelled the rise of the home worker," he added.