The History And Evolution Of Home Businesses

Cottage industries and trades people who base themselves from home can claim to be the early home business torch bearers. However, over the past decade home working and running a business from home has seen massive acceleration.

For example, in the UK home working has grown from 11% of the workforce in 2010 to over 14% in 2012.

The key drivers behind this dynamism are as follows:

  • Access to cheaper, more efficient mobile technology has never been easier nor has the choice ever been greater.
  • Employers are finding it increasingly difficult to attract and retain talent by asking them to assemble each day in ‘one office silos’, particularly when it is city centre based and involves long and expensive two-way travel
  • A better life blend is becoming increasingly important to individuals and families
  • For business start ups and mature businesses, be they small or internationally large, being a home business helps control the growth of certain fixed and variable overheads (property & daily travel)
  • As a result, home businesses and home workers can often operate with a competitive pricing model.

the history and evolution of home businesses

Home Business Statistics

Here are some interesting statistics about the rapidly expanding home business and home worker markets:

  • 40% (3.4m) of all businesses in the UK are home based
  • 60% of all UK business start ups do so from home
  • 8m people in the UK operate an online business from home
  • Across the globe an estimated 1 in 10 people work exclusively from home
  • If this 1:10 ratio is applied to the global employment population, which is 3bn (ie. 43% of all people on the planet), then the global home working population for those who work exclusively from home (and could therefore be considered to be home businesses) is 300m. It is estimated that twice this number are home workers who frequently work from home at some point 
  • UK telecoms giant BT has calculated that home workers are 20% more productive than their office counterparts
  • In the UK it is estimated that over 30 working days per employee per year are lost by travelling to the office
  • On average, home workers work longer hours than office workers  

Sources: The Guardian/BARR/ONS/The Smith Report/BT/Direct Line/iHubbub

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