One in 16 people in Britain are homeworkers, according to a report published by the Trades Union Congress to mark National Work from Home Day.
More than 1.6 million employees worked from home last year, 152,000 more than the previous year, a rise of 7.7 per cent, says City AM.
While men still account for the majority, women have seen the biggest rise proportionally.
Homeworkers are also more likely to be older employees, with one in 13 choosing to shun the office compared with one in 36 workers in their 20s.
The south-west of England has the highest proportion of homeworkers while Northern Ireland has the lowest.
Homeworking can save time and money on commutes, give more flexibility over working time and make it easier for carers, parents and disabled people to carry on working, says the report
But it added the employees must be properly supported.
“Homeworking shouldn’t be viewed as way of cutting costs. It should always be a real choice for the workers who want it,” TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said.
“Homeworking is a great option for some workers, especially those with disabilities. Businesses should seriously look at the benefits it can bring.
“Allowing employees to work from home can be good for holding on to talented staff and boosting productivity.”
The demand certainly appears to be there: government research shows another four million UK workers would like to work from home for at least some of the time but are not given the chance.