Almost 5.5 million Britons now spend some or all of their week working remotely from home, with the majority concentrated in London and the South-East of England.
The Broadband User Survey from research firm Point Topic has found that some 4.3 million households in Britain – 18 per cent of all homes in the country – contain someone working from home.
The majority of home workers are self-employed, more likely to be male with professional or managerial occupations and be based in a London suburb or prosperous town.
In geographical terms the highest take-up of home working in the UK is in the South-East, the South-West, London and the East of England.
Home working was 30 per cent higher than the UK average in these regions. Take-up is lowest in Wales, the North-West and Yorkshire, with only 55 per cent of the UK average in these regions as a whole.
Freelancer workers make up half the total, while four out of 10 are employees working remotely. The third, much smaller group of eight per cent are running a business from home with employees.
The research also found that more than twice as many males use the internet for work at home as females.
Typically they have more than one computer at home and have been using the internet at home for four years, with broadband for two years. The survey suggests that the home worker is a more knowledgeable, security conscious, high spending and demanding customer than the non-home worker.