Home-Based Workers Increase in the UK

August 20, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. escalate /ˈɛskəˌleɪt/ (v.) – to rapidly increase in number
Example: The number of home-based jobs escalated after a study revealed that home workers are more productive.

2. upsurge /ˈʌpˌsɜrdʒ/ (n.) – the state of increasing or rising in terms of strength or quantity
Example: There was an upsurge in job applicants when the company introduced flexible working regulations.

3. commute /kəˈmyut/ (v.) – to move from one point to another
Example: He chose to work at home so he wouldn’t have to commute every day.

4. flexible /ˈflɛk sə bəl/ (adj.) – referring to a circumstance that can be changed or adjusted
Example: His boss can be flexible when it comes to working from home.

5. permit /pərˈmɪt/ (v.) – to allow someone to do something
Example: The company permits senior citizens to have less working hours than ordinary employees.


Read the text below.
According to statistics, more and more British nationals are working from home, with the number escalating by 45 percent in the past 16 years.

Data from the Office for National Statistics show that there are currently over four million home-based workers in the country. The numbers have nearly doubled in 16 years. In 1998, only one out of 10 people worked from home, but according to recent figures, one out of seven people are now working from home.

About half of the British home workers today are between the ages of 25 to 49. Many of them can conveniently work for a company or manage a business by using their personal computers and by going online.

However, in most cases, working from home is more of a necessity rather than a privilege. Statistics show that the majority of home workers are parents who need to watch over their underage children. Economists also claim that the growing percentage of senior citizens who are still working is mainly causing the upsurge.

Nearly four in every 10 people over the age of 65 choose to work from home. According to experts, senior citizens prefer home-based jobs mainly to avoid the stress of commuting and working in an office.

The numbers had been expected to grow after new regulations on flexible working were introduced two months ago. Originally, only parents and guardians had the option to be home workers. The new regulations now permit any employee the option of working flexibly after six months in a company. Employers are also legally required to agree to employees’ request unless a legitimate business reason is raised.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you want the option of working from home? Why or why not?
·         Aside from senior citizens, parents and guardians, who else do you think are entitled to the right to work from home? Kindly explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Would you want a job with flexible hours or with fixed hours? Why?
·         If you had your own company, would you let your employees decide their own working hours? Why or why not?

August 20, 2014