Workers abandon their commutes during the Olympics

More people are working from home Credit: PA

The number of people working from home in London and the South East during the

Olympics has increased by almost a third, according to new research.

A study of 2,000 adults in the region by mobile phone giant O2 also found a 50% increase in those working flexibly over the next few weeks.

The data could explain why parts of central London have been much quieter than expected since the Games started in earnest this week.

Four out of five of those questioned said they would work flexibly at some point during the Olympics, varying their hours to travel later or earlier than usual.

O2 calculated that at some stage over the two-week period about four million people will work from home - or work "al desco."

With the daily commute taking 49 minutes on average in the capital, the change in working arrangements has taken a huge burden off the transport network, the report claimed.