Business boom for Suffolk garden office company as more people work from home

One of the great debates over the last year has been the benefits, or otherwise, of more of us working from home.

A report out today from the Office of National Statistics takes an in depth look at how work life balances have shifted during the pandemic.

For some companies, like Smart Garden Offices in Thurston near Bury St. Edmunds, the rise in the number of homeworkers has led to a boom in business.

Spaces like these have been much in demand over the last year Credit: Smart Garden Offices

They've been busy making purpose-built spaces where people can work outside their actual house while staying at home.

Today's ONS survey shows nearly 40 percent of us (35.9%) did some work at home last year, up 9.4% on 2019.

People who completed some work from home did 6.0 hours of unpaid overtime per week on average in 2020, compared with 3.6 hours for those that never work from home.However, they took less time off. The sickness absence rate for workers at home was 0.9% on average in 2020, compared with 2.2% for those who never worked from home.

For mortgage broker, Corey Whelan, working from home simply became too difficult with his adorable distraction, 20 month old Aurora-Violet, crashing in on work calls.

In March last year, he had set up a mortgage broker's in Huntingdon but found trying to help clients make important financial decisions with interuptions from Aurora, too stressful.

20 month old Aurora-Violet Whelan, who was a bit of a distraction while her daddy Corey was working from home! Credit: Corey Whelan

"From our perspective, you could be on the phone and it's quite a serious decision, mortgages and finance and talking about people's credit commitments and credit history and then you hear a little on in the background rattling a toy or something on the TV like a child's programme," he explained.

So unlike many workers who are still working from their kitchen tables or bedrooms, Corey has rented an office for him and his staff. That way he doesn't have to worry about being interupted or working while bouncing Aurora on his knee!

Corey and Aurora-Violet Whelan doing some serious work. Credit: Corey Whelan