Want a better work-life balance (and to go to work in your pyjamas)? Join the 2.5m who work from home

Forget the daily commute, office hubbub and rush-hour crush - small-business owners are leading the way with 52% working from home

Ah, the chance to work in the comfort of your own home. No daily commute, flexible working around family commitments and perhaps time to pop out to the gym (if you must) when the clock strikes five. Sound appealing? It is to many – and working from home is on the rise.

According to new ONS analysis from Direct Line for Business, there are now 2.5 million home-business owners in the UK, which highlights just how much we’re changing the way we work.

Home-working is particularly popular among business-owners who work in e-commerce, travel, marketing, recruitment and legal, according to a recent report by Real Business on the UK’s top 25 businesses run from home.

The Direct Line research shows that the South East and South West have the highest concentration of home-business owners, a tenth of the workforce in both regions.

And across the whole of the UK, Herefordshire has the largest concentration of home-business owners at 27%, followed by Pembrokeshire at 23%, and Eastbourne with 20%.

Interestingly, men are twice as likely as women to run their business from home – there are 1.7 million male home-business owners across the country, while there are around 818,000 female home-business owners. Come on, ladies!

‘Self-employment has been on the rise for several years,’ says Jazz Gakhal, Head of Direct Line for Business. ‘Our research shows that a great number of these people work from home.’

However, when home workers were asked how they prioritised the set-up of their business, sorting out taxes and organising insurance were low on the list. ‘This was particularly concerning, given that 74% of home businesses kept all their stock at home, worth £4,388 on average.’

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