Hybrid working drives higher turnover for micro-businesses

  • 61 per cent of office and professional sole traders and micro-business owners who have adopted hybrid working or changed location since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic say this has had a positive impact on their happiness and wellbeing
  • 83 per cent intend to have their home as their business’ registered address and main working location in the future
  • The top motivations for working from home are no travel costs (60 per cent), more flexible hours (58 per cent) and better work/life balance (57 per cent)

Half of office and professional* micro-business owners and sole traders (50 per cent) who have adopted hybrid working or changed location since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic report a positive impact on turnover, according to new research from Direct Line business insurance.1

A quarter (25 per cent) of office and professional micro-business owners and sole traders have changed their working location or adopted hybrid working since the Covid-19 struck. Reasons for this include trying to reduce the risk of infection (13 per cent), a confidence in the ability to work remotely (eight per cent) and saving money on renting an office (seven per cent).

Changing location and adopting flexible working isn’t just boosting turnover. It’s also making many business owners happier at work, with 61 per cent of business owners who have introduced this, reporting an improvement in wellbeing.

The success of flexible working is also influencing business owners’ plans. More than eight in ten (83 per cent) say they intend to have their home as their business’ registered address and their main working location in future.

Beyond turnover and wellbeing, business owners reported that working from home has a very wide range of benefits, including not having to commute and feeling safer from Covid-19:

Benefits of working from home – Direct Line business insurance, 2022:

Reported working from home benefit

Proportion of small and micro-business owners and sole traders

No travel costs

60 per cent

More flexible hours

58 per cent

Better work/life balance

57 per cent

Safer during Covid-19

52 per cent

Not having to pay for office space

45 per cent

Higher productivity

29 per cent

Can claim expenses for using home as an office

26 per cent

Easier childcare

11 per cent

However, office and professional micro-business owners and sole traders also agreed there were some benefits to traditional office-based working, with 44 per cent feeling that working in the office creates a clearer separation between professional and personal lives.  A third believe that it provides better social connections, 28 per cent feel that it leads to easier meetings and collaboration, while more than one in five (22 per cent) think that it boosts productivity.

Despite this, very few micro-business owners and sole traders are worried about hybrid working. Just seven per cent said that this was a concern.  These business owners are more worried about the impact of Covid-19 on customer demand (44 per cent), tax increases (33 per cent), maintaining or increasing growth (27 per cent), increasing IT requirements and costs (21 per cent), Brexit (19 per cent) and scaling up their business (12 per cent).

Jane Morgan, Product Manager at Direct Line business insurance, commented:
Many office and professional micro-businesses and sole traders have seen positive benefits from flexible working, ranging from improved wellbeing to better turnover, which is great to see. This is influencing how they see their business operating in the future.

“As these business owners plan ahead, they should consider the importance of having the right insurance arrangements in place, so that they are prepared to deal with the consequences of unforeseen developments and crises.”

Direct Line business insurance offers a range of products and services for office and professional small and micro-businesses and sole traders– such as home business cover, public liability, professional indemnity, contents and equipment insurance and the Business Tech Essentials service. You can find out more here.


*Business/management consultants, accountants/bookkeepers, teachers/tutors, IT consultants, media/marketing/graphic designers, architects/surveyors, legal services, financial services, web designers/app developers, estate agents

  1. Opinium survey of 406 office and professional business owners with 0,1 or 2 employees who have business insurance (306 sole traders and 100 of those with 1-2 employees).

For further information please contact:

Direct Line Group
Unni Henry
Marketing Practitioner 
Email: [email protected]

About Direct Line business insurance

Launched in 2007 Direct Line business insurance now has over half a million customer policies, providing a flexible range of insurance products for the landlord, van and small business sectors.

Direct Line business insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line business insurance and U K Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line business insurance products or get a quote by calling 0345 301 4827 or visiting https://www.directlineforbusiness.co.uk