People who mainly worked from home prior to the pandemic were far less likely to have received a promotion or a bonus compared with their office-based counterparts.
A new study by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that true gulf of the divide in professional opportunities for those who work from home as opposed to those who head in to their workplaces.
Between 2011 and 2017, for example, those who usually worked from home were less than half as likely to have received a promotion compared with workers who consistently worked mainly away from home.
In terms of bonuses, those who mainly worked from home were around 38 per cent less likely on average to have received a bonus compared with those who never worked from home between 2013 and 2020.
They were also around 40 per cent less likely to get access to work-based education or training that those making the trip into the office.
The report’s authors said that the figures suggested that people were being overlooked for promotions and bonuses due to a “lack of visibility”.
With many more people in the UK now accustomed to homeworking due to the pandemic, the figures will be a cause for concern.
However, there were signs that attitudes towards homeworking were beginning to change even before the pandemic.
On issues of pay, the report said that “the gap in pay between exclusive homeworkers and those who never work from home has been decreasing over time, as homeworking has become a more widely accepted and encouraged form of flexible working”.
In 2020, for example, those who mainly worked from home were paid 9.2 per cent more on average than those who never worked from home as they were better able to continue working despite lockdown restrictions.
The figures also show the extent of the shift in work patterns that the pandemic has had.
Of the employed population, it found, 35.9 per cent did some work at home in 2020, an increase of 9.4 per cent compared with 2019.
London reported the highest proportion of homeworkers in 2020 as 43.0% worked from home at some point in the past year, up from 31.0% in 2019.