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Scotland sees biggest rise in people working from home

·2-min read

Working from home stuck around more in Scotland than other parts of the UK even as Covid-19 restrictions eased, figures show.

New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that the number of people working from home between January and March this year had more than doubled compared to before the pandemic.

Between October and December 2019 there were 4.7 million people working from home, the ONS said. In the first three months of this year, 9.9 million people used their homes as their workplaces.

There was a lot of variation across different parts of the country. In Scotland homeworking increased nearly 204% as more than half a million more people were working from home.

In Northern Ireland, however, the rise was 56%.

The figures reflect the major shift in UK working patterns during the pandemic. In a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19, the Government imposed a lockdown in the spring of 2020.

As a result, those who could were forced to work from their homes. Others who were considered key workers were able to go to work while those non-key workers who could not work from home were given Government furlough payments.

Recent analysis from the ONS suggests that increased homeworking is likely to stick around in some form even after the pandemic.

The Government is no longer asking employees to work from home where they can, yet in February eight in 10 workers who did their jobs from home during the pandemic said they plan to continue doing some work from home.

Just over four in 10 (42%) said they plan to work from home most of the time.

In London, 37% of people were working from home at the start of the year – the highest of anywhere in the country.

In England as a whole, 31% of people were working from home, with 30.4% in Wales and 30.2% in Scotland.

In Northern Ireland, just 16.4% of people were working from home.

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