Five million expected to work from home

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Up to 5 million workers are expected to work from home on Thursday 15 May 2008 to mark National Work from Home Day.

Across the UK, nearly 3.5 million people now work from home – 12.2% or one-in-eight of the population – an increase of 600,000 since 1997. The highest proportion of home workers is in the South West with 15.7%, followed by Eastern England with 14.4%. The lowest is in the North East with 9.3%, followed by Scotland with 9.4%.

"The benefits of working from home, even occasionally, are now widely accepted," said Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise UK, the not-for-profit organisation behind the initiative. "Not only does it reduce the amount of commuting people have to do, enhancing their work-life balance, but many are actually more productive.

"Although many organisations practise the age-old philosophy of 'presenteeism', they should open their eyes to the new work ethic spreading across the UK and try out home working: they may well be surprised."

Home working is one of the smarter working practises being promoted through the Work Wise UK campaign, which is entering its third year. It aims to encourage half the working population, some 14 million people, to be offered smarter working by 2011.

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