03 April 2020

Professionals working at home is now a significant economic driver of the UK economy (and all local areas within the economy)

The Smart Growth Analytics 2020 White Paper, ‘Home Office Professionals - the ‘invisible’ co-working business resource’, demonstrates the significant and growing economic importance of home professionals across the country. 

Professionals who work from home, whether business owners, self-employed or employees, are highly competitive, productive and sustainable workers and make an estimated GVA economic output contribution in excess of £100 billion per annum to the national economy of England. This represents some 6.2% of national GVA output with just 4.4%, 1.3 million, of its workers. Recent rapid growth in the numbers of these workers, combined with expected growth for the foreseeable future, suggests that the significance and importance of their contribution to the economy is also growing.

This White Paper develops and analyses this national trend and its importance for sustainable, economic development. The top cluster locations of ‘Home Office Professional hotspots’ (HOPspots) across England are identified and the symbiotic relationship between Home Office Professionals and local co-working space is explored, together with virtual co-working.

Key findings are as follows:

  • Across England, there are currently over 1.3 million professionals working predominantly at home during the working week, equivalent to 4.4% of all those in employment work in home offices
  • Home offices are an important feature of all sub-regional economies, with new homes increasingly incorporating dedicated office facilities
  • Home professional volumes in England grew by 45% from 2001 to 2019 compared to 19% growth in all workers
  • Growth in home professional working has been strong in all local economies, though growth in some has been particularly strong
  • Employers in prime city centre rental areas can save in excess of £6k per annum per employee that switches to the home office
  • The top three Local Enterprise Partnership areas (LEPs) with the highest geographic concentrations of home professionals are London, Black Country and Greater Manchester
  • In some local areas of the economy home professionals now account for more than 1 in 10 workers
  • Surrey is arguably the nation’s top HOPspot with 41,000 home professionals, accounting for a staggering 7% of all resident workers

Jim Plunkett-Cole, Principal Analyst at Smart Growth Analytics, commented:

‘’The findings demonstrate the significant and rapidly growing economic importance of home offices in regional economies across the Country.

The findings will be of interest to regional and local planners and developers of urban and rural residential areas who are considering the potential to support existing Home Office Professionals and attract new ones, for example through specifying dwellings with purpose-built home office facilities or commercial flexible working and co-working space. This will also be particularly relevant to the regeneration of town centres and to the design of premium locations such as waterfront developments and urban and garden villages, which are highly attractive to Home Office Professionals.

They provide strong supportive evidence of a need for home office support to maximise their economic contribution.’’ 

To receive your copy of the full report go to here