Working from home is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, new research has found.

Almost a third (30 per cent) of full-time employees questioned in a poll for Zurich insurance said that they had spent time during the previous month working from home.

Those who shunned The Office clocked up an average of 15.73 hours working from the comfort of their own property, the survey found.

One in ten occasional homeworkers said they regularly spent more than 40 hours each month working from home, while four per cent said they worked for more than 80 hours outside the office.

The desire to avoid commuting to and from work was cited as the most popular reason for staying away from the office, with 66 per cent of respondents identifying it as an advantage to homeworking.

According to the YouGov poll of over 1,000 full-time working adults, a further 55 per cent of people work from home to achiEve peace and quiet away from their colleagues, while 48 per cent like the flexibility that homeworking gives them.

With homeworking set to become increasingly popular employees operating away from their desk are also spending more money on office equipment for their home, Zurich claims.

Of those questioned in the poll, 88 per cent said they owned a computer that they used for work purposes, while 77 per cent had access to e-mail and internet to support their professional role. A further 47 per cent used a printer at home for work, while 35 per cent used a USB flash drive for homeworking purposes and 21 per cent used a scanner.

But despite the average homeworker in the poll found to have items with a total replacement value of £1,140.93, 12 per cent said that they had failed to insure the equipment as part of their home contents insurance.

Commenting on the results managing director of Zurich's retail operations, Mark Searles, said: "Making sure that office equipment is adequately insured as part of a home contents policy is crucial for those who rely on home computers and other technical equipment for work purposes."

25/09/2007 14:17:36