A new report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released today paints a mixed picture of working at home in terms of pay, rewards, promotion opportunities and hours worked.

The ONS said that analysis suggested that “the rewards for homeworking were typically less for those who exclusively worked from home – being on average paid less, less likely to get a bonus, less likely to get promoted, and less likely to receive training”.

But the ONS also pointed out that people who did some homeworking, tended to see “a higher reward from homeworking than those who either worked exclusively away from or at home. They are also more likely to hold managerial responsibilities and have attained higher qualifications”.

The report went on to say: “If accelerated homeworking trends persist, then an increased availability of jobs that offer remote working may allow the current labour pool to expand. This dislocation makes jobs accessible to a higher number of people, irrespective of where they live. This would reduce the level of skill mismatch in the economy as workers are better able to match their skills to new openings in the labour market.

“This would imply a more efficient allocation of labour which could therefore have potential implications for aggregate productivity.”

Key points included:

  • Of the employed population, 35.9% did some work at home in 2020, an increase of 9.4 percentage points compared with 2019; this also includes a change in the type of people who worked from home in 2020.
  • The average gross weekly pay of workers who had recently worked from home was about 20% higher in 2020 than those who never worked from home in their main job, when controlling for other factors. The ONS said this continued a long running trend.
  • People who mainly worked from home were less than half as likely to be promoted than all other workers between 2012 and 2017, when controlling for other factors.
  • People who mainly worked from home were around 38% less likely on average to have received a bonus compared with those who never worked from home between 2013 and 2020, when controlling for other factors.
  • People who completed any work from home did six hours of unpaid overtime on average per week in 2020, compared with 3.6 hours for those that never work from home.
  • The ONS found “considerable” regional variation in homeworking, not all of which is explained by differences in the types of industries that operate in each region.
  • Homeworkers were more likely to work in the evenings compared with those who worked away from in September 2020.
  • The sickness absence rate for workers doing any work from home was 0.9% on average in 2020, compared with 2.2% for those who never worked from home in their main job.

The ONS said it used the Annual Population Survey for the years 2011 to 2019 to understand pre-pandemic trends and then compared that information to 2020 data. Respondents were asked questions about their relationship with the labour market, including the extent to which they work from home.

The responses were then divided among four mutually exclusive categories, the ONS said. They were:

  • Mainly work from home.
  • Recently worked from home – ie. those who do not work mainly from home but did some work at home during the reference week.
  • Occasionally work from home – those who report sometimes doing work at home in their current home.
  • Never work from home.


Original article ‘Homeworking offers mixed rewards says ONS report‘ Written by Deedee Doke Published by Recruiter


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