One in seven people in Britain are choosing to work from home to avoid a wretched daily commute, official figures have shown.
The first-ever analysis by the Office for National Statistics of ‘home workers’ reveals how the number has ballooned over the last 16 years, jumping by nearly 45 per cent.
The news comes as more and more people in Essex are working from home, with rocketing rail fares and fuel prices making it increasingly expensive to commute to the office.
Just this week, rail unions blasted the Government’s shortlist of firms listed to run the region’s train network for up to 11 years.
The top three include former rail operator National Express, current operator Abellio Greater Anglia and FirstGroup, which runs the majority of the county’s bus network.
But Abellio has been consistently hammered by customers in the last 12 months, as commuter-watchdog CommuteLondon revealed it received 72, 861 negative tweets in 2014 – more than any other London rail provider.
John Philpott, director of work think tank, The Jobs Economist, suggested Britain’s ageing population is fuelling the trend, with more older people needing to work, but preferring to do it from home.
He said: “More older people are seeking to avoid the daily commute and the stresses of office life.”
The number of homeworkers is likely to keep on rising with new rules set to come into force later this month making it easier for people to work from home.
Starting on June 30, all workers will be able to request the right to work flexibly, which could mean anything from a three-day week to only working during the school term time as well as working from home.