Homeworkers do more unpaid overtime but less likely to get promoted, analysis shows

People who work from home work more but get promoted less. Credit: Daniel Thomas/Unsplash

People who work from home are less likely to receive workplace training and be promoted but work more unpaid overtime, the latest figures show.

The Covid-19 pandemic forced people to work from home in order to reduce contact, and over a year later many are questioning if this could be the future of work.

New analysis from the Office for National Statistics shows while there were some benefits to working from home, rarely going into the office did appear to have an impact on career prospects.

Those who mainly work from home were less than half as likely to be promoted, and around 40% less likely to receive workplace training than those who never work from home, prior to 2020.

The gap narrowed in 2020 as many more people stayed away from the workplace.

On top of this, the figures show that people working from home were more likely to work more hours of unpaid overtime than those who never work from home.

Homeworkers did an average of six hours of unpaid overtime per week compared to 3.6 to people who never worked from home.

The analysis shows people who combined some homeworking with some non-homeworking tended to better rewarded, for instance being paid around 10%-20% more on average than non-homeworkers.

They were also 30%-40% more likely to receive a bonus.

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The pandemic also affected homeworkers' working patterns.

Previously, homeworkers had started their day later but worked later into the evening. However, in 2020, homeworkers working hours more closely followed a traditional nine till five working day.

The ONS also found the number of people working from home in 2020 increased by 9% from 2019, from 27% to 36%.

Researchers also found stark regional differences, with London recording 43% of people working from home, but Northern Ireland having just 26%.

The analysis also showed large differences between industries, with 62% information and communication workers working from home compared to 12% of accommodation and food services employees.

There was also a wide variation in the level of qualifications among homeworkers compared to those who still went into the office or other workplace.

Over 85% of people without qualifications never worked from home, rising to 71% for those who had GCSE's or equivalent.

This fell dramatically for people who held a degree, with 53% of them never working from home.

The only category that had less than 50% of people never working from home were people who held qualifications higher than a standard honours degree.