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Working from home 'up by a third'

The number of people working from home has increased by almost a third in the past decade, according to official figures.

Compiled by the Office for National Statistics, the data showed that 2.1 million people opted to work from home in 2001. But by 2011, this had risen by more than 2.8 million, almost one in every ten British residents.

However, the increase has not been an even spread across the country and certain counties are more interested in home working than others. For example, the biggest increases have been seen in areas in the countryside that are close to major towns and cities.

Meanwhile, in the Cotswolds, different kinds of home-based businesses have grown. Start-ups selling products like organic clothes have helped drive up the proportion of people working from home from 14 per cent to almost 20 per cent.

West Somerset still has the highest proportion of people working from home, with 25.99 per cent recorded as homeworkers in 2011, up from 18.18 per cent in 2001.

Andrew Bates, an analyst with the ONS, told the Telegraph: “More people are self-employed and there are more small entrepreneurs. For people using eBay to sell items and small traders it doesn't matter where they are located.

"A lot of people also don't like the commute or can't afford the rising train fares. Good employers are now offering more flexible working."

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