Posted: 19 Jun 2011 13:19
A new analysis by the TUC shows the number of homeworkers in the UK – currently around 3.7 million – fell slightly during the recession , probably because of rising unemployment levels and a general feeling of insecurity about work.
But overall, the homeworking trend is growing. Business secretary Vince Cable this week announced plans to change the law by 2013 to give every employee the right to request a flexible working pattern . It remains to be seen how many employers, particularly smaller ones, will respond to such requests, but flexible working could potentially transform the lives of many, particularly those with parental or caring responsibilities.
Technology is playing a part too, with better wireless internet connections, the emergence of smartphones and tablets as viable business tools and cheap productivity applications such as Google Apps , Dropbox and OpenOffice (check out this more exhaustive list of free tools from Lifehacker ) making it easier to work on the move than ever before.
As homeworking becomes increasingly viable, so too is an exciting range of workspaces emerging where entrepreneurs, freelances and those simply looking for a change of scenery can go to network, collaborate or seek inspiration.
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