A new study has revealed that three-quarters of UK employees work from home at least some of the time - and that the cost of living crisis is driving the number up. 

The study, by Legal & General, surveyed more than 2,000 full-time office workers across the UK to find out how working environments have changed. 

In the survey, 75 per cent of UK employees said that they work from home at least some of the time. 

This represents an increase over the past few years, with less than half (45 per cent) of those surveyed being able to work from home before COVID.

Some of the top reasons that respondents preferred working from home now included saving time on commuting (73 per cent), saving money (72 per cent), and more flexibility (71 per cent). 

This is exacerbated by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, with more than half (55 per cent) of respondents saying that the increasing financial pressures have impacted how regularly they can commute to the office.

The cost of living crisis is affecting how often people go into the office. (Jose Losada on Unsplash)

However, opinions on remote working are split, with 31 per cent of respondents saying that they prefer working from home, 33 per cent preferring being in the office, and 34 per cent having no strong preference. 

Remote working preferences are influenced by factors such as industry, job level and age. 

In the IT and accounting industries, there has been a “dramatic” increase in remote work, with a rise from 58 per cent to 90 per cent. 

Looking at job level, 47 per cent of entry-level workers preferred to work in the office, with an average of 1.66 days per week working from home, while business owners and executives had an average of 22 per cent preferring to work in the office, with an average 3.16 work from home days per week. 

Older people are also less likely to work from home, with 62 per cent of people aged over 55 working from home at least sometimes compared to 85 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds. 

In recent months, 61 per cent of respondents had been asked to come into the office more - but 60 per cent of those polled said that they would consider changing roles if they had to work in an office full-time. 

Paula Llewellyn, CMO and Managing Director Direct at Legal and General Retail commented: "The pandemic threw everyone in the deep end with remote work. Anecdotally, we’ve seen people enjoy the positive impacts on their work life balance. However, on the other side, we’ve also heard stories of people feeling more isolated.

“Water cooler moments are key to any work culture. But they aren’t always as easy or organic through a computer screen. As the research shows, this is even more important for those starting their careers. Being able to build networks face to face is one of the best ways to upskill and progress.

“Many see the advantages of going into the office, but most also enjoy the freedom of remote work. It’s a balance, not only for the individual but also the businesses they work for.

“As how we work evolves, the future will likely see hybrid models, blending office working with remote flexibility. This approach gives employees the best of both worlds. While helping businesses to focus on productivity and wellbeing.”