Homeworking in 2020

Statistics about regular and occasional home workers, by local area and, nationally, by industry and occupation

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has produced estimates of the numbers of people working from home in 2020.  Because of the way that people work can be flexible, the estimates are based on responses to three questions in the Annual Population Survey (APS) and provide three different measures. Firstly, workers are asked if they mainly work from home in their main job (with instructions in 2020 that they consider where they "usually" worked prior to the pandemic). Secondly, workers are asked if they have worked at home in their main job for any full day during the week prior to interview. Thirdly, workers are asked if they ever work from home in their main job. 

Answers to these questions provide indications of the extent of regular home working, the percentage of workers working from home at a given point in time (whether regular home workers or not) and the percentage of people working in roles with a possibility of home working.

In 2020, in the North East LEP area:

  • About 53,300 people mainly worked at home (about 5.9% of workers, England 8.7%)
  • a further 67,200 worked in the same grounds or buildings as their home or with their home as a base (7.4%, England 9.2%)
  • around 163,000 people had worked from home during the seven days prior to interview (20.2%, England 27.0%)
  • in total, 243,000 worked from home at some point in their main job (26.8%, England 38.0%)
  • the North East totals were respectively, 70%, 5%, 149% and 32% above their 2019 levels

Although higher than in 2019, the percentage of people working at home in all categories within the North East LEP area was lower than nationally. There were large variations in the extent of home working within the North East in 2020:

  • The percentage mainly working from home ranged from 6.9% in Northumberland down to 4.9% in South Tyneside
  • over a quarter of North Tyneside workers had worked from home in the week prior to interview (27.6%) 
  • this was two and a half times the percentage in South Tyneside (10.5%)
  • the percentage of workers who ever worked from home was also highest in North Tyneside (38.3%) and lowest in South Tyneside (16.5%)

The local variations partially reflect differences in the occupational and industry structure in each area but the release only provides statistics for these at a national level. These statistics show that, across the UK in 2020:

  • Over 12% of workers in managerial, professional, associate professional and administrative occupations worked mainly from home
  • just under 4% of workers mainly worked from home in the skilled trades, caring, leisure, sales and customer service occupations
  • only 1% of those working as process, plant or machine operatives or in elementary occupations worked mainly from home
  • respectively, among workers in these broad groups, about 39%, 9% and 2% had worked from home in the previous week
  • over half of workers in managerial, professional, associate professional and administrative occupations had ever worked at home
  • this was true for only 16.5% and 5.5% of workers in the occupation groups in the second and third bullet points
  • among industry groups, for all three measures, home working was most common in:
    • information and communication
    • financial and insurance activities
    • real estate activities
    • professional, scientific and technical activities

Homeworking, number of workers, North East LEP area

Last updated:
19/05/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: ONS: Homeworking in the UK Labour Market , last updated 17 May 2021

Data information: Based on responses to three questions in the ONS Annual Population Survey:

1. In your main job, do you work mainly in your own home or in the same grounds or buildings as your home or in different places using home as a base or somewhere quite separate from home? (Respondents were asked where they would usually work in their main job prior to the Covid-19 pandemic).

2. In your main job, have you spent at least one full day in the seven days prior to this interview working in your own home?

3. Do you ever do any paid or unpaid work at home for your main job?


Homeworking, percentage of workers, North East LEP area and local authority areas

Last updated:
19/05/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: ONS: Homeworking in the UK Labour Market, last updated 17 May 2021

Data information: Based on responses to three questions in the ONS Annual Population Survey:

1. In your main job, do you work mainly in your own home or in the same grounds or buildings as your home or in different places using home as a base or somewhere quite separate from home? (Respondents were asked where they would usually work in their main job prior to the Covid-19 pandemic).

2. In your main job, have you spent at least one full day in the seven days prior to this interview working in your own home?

3. Do you ever do any paid or unpaid work at home for your main job?


Homeworking, percentage of workers, UK by occupation type

Last updated:
19/05/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: ONS: Homeworking in the UK Labour Market, last updated 17 May 2021

Data information: Based on responses to three questions in the ONS Annual Population Survey:

1. In your main job, do you work mainly in your own home or in the same grounds or buildings as your home or in different places using home as a base or somewhere quite separate from home? (Respondents were asked where they would usually work in their main job prior to the Covid-19 pandemic).

2. In your main job, have you spent at least one full day in the seven days prior to this interview working in your own home?

3. Do you ever do any paid or unpaid work at home for your main job?


Homeworking, percentage of workers, UK by Industry

Last updated:
19/05/2021
Published by:
North East LEP

Source: ONS: Homeworking in the UK Labour Market, last updated 17 May 2021

Data information: Based on responses to three questions in the ONS Annual Population Survey:

1. In your main job, do you work mainly in your own home or in the same grounds or buildings as your home or in different places using home as a base or somewhere quite separate from home? (Respondents were asked where they would usually work in their main job prior to the Covid-19 pandemic).

2. In your main job, have you spent at least one full day in the seven days prior to this interview working in your own home?

3. Do you ever do any paid or unpaid work at home for your main job?