Working from home (WFH) statistics 2021
60% of employees are working from home during coronavirus pandemic. How can you make the most of working from home?
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink the majority of our daily activities, from how we shop to where we invest. Work culture is no exception.
On 16th March 2020, the British government instructed people to work from home where possible. A year on, our research estimates that 60% of us are still working from the confines of our own homes. To mark the anniversary, we have compiled some statistics exploring who is working from home, how working from home is affecting people’s mental health and productivity, and the effect of working from home on spending (or saving).
Benefits of working from home
Employees generally appreciate a company that allows them to work from home and research has suggested that this could also boost productivity for the employer.
- 65% of workers said they would be more productive in a home office than a normal office.
- 75% of workers say they will be more productive due to reduced distractions.
- 83% of employees feel they do not need an office to be productive.
- Two-thirds of employers report increased productivity for remote workers compared to in-office workers.
Amount of money saved by working from home
Currently, around 60% of the UK’s population has left the workplace to work from home and 9 in 10 (89%) believe this is reducing their expenditure.
By not having to do things like commuting and buy lunch every day, the average employed worker said they save £44.78 every week.
|Percentage that will save||Average savings||Total savings per week||Average savings over 3 weeks||Total savings over 3 weeks|
Claiming on expenses while working at home
You may be able to claim tax relief if you have to work from home, for instance due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Examples of additional costs include heating bills, new broadband connection payments, and metered water bills that have increased as a result of working at home. See the Government webpage to claim now.
As a business looking to support yourself during the pandemic, our business loans guides will help you get started.
Savings on working from home per region
Londoners are saving the most cash by working from home, at an average of £57.78 per week, possibly reflecting the capital’s high commuting costs. Second biggest savers are those working in Wales, who are saving £50.16 per week.
Other UK regions where workers report saving the least of all regions are Scotland (£35.47), North East (£35.65) and South West (£37.47).
|Region||Saved per week|
|East of England||£42.23|
|Yorshire and the Humber||£43.40|
More free time
The average daily commute time in the UK is now 59 minutes. This means that people working from home will save almost five hours a week that they would normally spend in transit. As well as being good news for employees, some of this extra time may be spent working.
For those trying to turn a profit during COVID-19, this extra time could be seen as an opportunity to invest in their financial futures. From skyrocketing shares in vaccine providers to mass investment strategies devised through social media platforms, the pandemic has triggered a global shift in investing behaviours.
|Region||Minutes of daily commute|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||52.4|
Another benefit for the UK during the coronavirus crisis will be the reduced emissions from workers not commuting and from manufacturing or transport companies that have reduced operations as their employees are not able to work from home. As an example, it is said that if those with remote-compatible jobs worked at home half the time it could result in saving 54 million tonnes of greenhouse gas, equivalent to taking 10 million cars off the road.
The full impacts of the shutdown and the environmental benefits are not yet known in the UK, but estimates for the reduction of pollution in China include:
- CO2 emissions dropped by at least 25% in February 2020.
- The number of “good quality air days” increased by 22% in February 2020.
- Around 77,000 lives may have been saved due to the reduction in air pollution.
The potential drawbacks of working from home
While working from home may seem an attractive proposition, drawbacks have been identified that could impact wellbeing and eventually, productivity.
- 30.9% of remote workers say that they struggle with loneliness when working remotely.
- 22% of telecommuters say that “switching off” after work is their biggest challenge.
- 62% of remote workers want employers to provide better technology that helps them stay connected with their colleagues.
Working longer hours
Working from home alone can also lead to fewer breaks, shorter lunches or just longer hours. Those earning around the UK’s average salary (£29,600) would lose out on £14.57 by working just one hour extra per day. By taking a shorter lunch break or working 30 minutes longer per day, you would be working 10 hours unpaid every month, which is worth £174.80 for Brits on the average salary.
5% of Brits during lockdown can be categorised as ‘chronically lonely’, which amounts to roughly 2.6 million people. Another 14.3% can be described as ‘lockdown lonely’, referring to those whose well-being had been affected by feeling lonely in the past seven days. Below are the demographic characteristics that are likely to contribute to loneliness, both chronically and for the lockdown.
|Demographics more likely to be likely||Chronic loneliness||Lockdown loneliness|
|Divorced or Seperated||9.70%||53.20%|
|Adults Living Alone||13.40%||57.20%|
Those living alone are the are the most likely to be lonely, for both categories of loneliness. The second strongest demographic predictors for loneliness are being single or being divorced, which both increase your likelihood of lockdown loneliness by over 50%.
I think it is going to be more socially acceptable for people to take the occasional day working from home.”
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