The British are reluctant revolutionaries when it comes to working from home; both bosses and workers have, up to now, proved wary of a trend that has been much-hyped but has never quite taken off as predicted. According to the Teleworking Association (TA), only around 1.3 million people - less than five per cent of the working population - work from home, a figure they say has remained static for several years. Alan Denbigh of the TA says that around half of these "teleworkers" work purely for themselves and half remain contracted to their employer.

For businesses, one of the main attractions of teleworking staff is the saving on office space; staff who come in only occasionally can "hot desk" - use a communal workstation rather than their own dedicated desk. All the same, most large British businesses have not rushed to leap on the bandwagon. While various companies have announced "pilot schemes", firms such as BT, which has more than 1,500 staff who telework full-time, and another 15,000 who work from home occasionally, are the exception rather than the rule.

Meanwhile, British unions have expressed fears that employers may use teleworking as an excuse to cut workers' rights; staff working from home could be offered less pay or poorer conditions such as working antisocial or longer hours.

Teleworking Association 0800 616008