By Maximilian Clarke

Technology is driving an increase in parents working from home, with fathers more likely to adopt flexible working or to be self-employed, a survey suggests.

PeoplePerHour.com, Europe’s largest online market place, estimate there are now 4.3 million freelancers in the U.K- an increase of 28% since 2007- with the majority having begun within the past two years. 90% admit a better work/life balance from freelancing, with the average freelancer saving 8.6 hours per week on commuting.

“I wanted to spend more time with my wife and three children, having been part of the senior management team at eBay for 5 years, 4 years at Yahoo and Kelkoo and consulting for various media agencies on large and small scale projects for blue-chip clients such as Kodak and Epson,” says Graham, a father who set-up as a freelance marketing and business development consultant back in July 2009.

“I got tired of working from 6am to 11pm most nights when I was travelling backwards and forwards to London on the train and tube every day and working most weekends on something that had to be done or was always urgent. I felt like I was missing out on a lot of my children’s school activities (school plays, sports days) and so wanted to spend more time with them before it was too late.”

Another work-from-home father, Marc Wakefield from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, has a 10-week old. Since being made redundant from his job as a recruitment consultant he has set up his own graphic design and web design business from home:

“My son Finley was born eight weeks ago and was five weeks premature,” said Wakefield. “He is our first and it has definitely been a bit of a shock to the system with the late nights and early mornings. I love being able to help as much as I can. I know I wouldn't be able to spend as much time with him if I didn't work from home and had a regular 9-5 Monday to Friday job.”


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