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Business begins at home

Mason, Colin and Carter, Sara and Tagg, Stephen (2008) Business begins at home. In: Can homeworking save the planet? How homes can become workspace in a low carbon economy. The Smith Institute, London.

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One of the most significant trends in the post-industrial era has been for the home to become an important focus for work. The boundaries between work and home are now increasingly blurred, reversing the forces of the industrial era in which places deemed suitable for each were clearly demarcated and physically separate. The most recent published figures available from the Labour Force Survey (2005)1 indicate that 3.1m people now work mainly from home, 11% of the workforce. This represents a rise from 2.3m in 1997 (9% of the workforce), a 35% increase. The majority of homeworkers (2.4m or 77% of the total) are 'teleworkers' – people who use computers and telecommunications to work at home. The number of teleworkers has increased by 1.5m between 1997 and 2005, a 166% increase. Clearly, it is the growth in the number of teleworkers which is driving the increase in homeworking.