Providing businesses have thorough procedures and policies in place, it is not difficult for them to protect the health and safety of employees who work from home, it has been suggested.

According to the National Group on Homeworking (NGH), health and safety procedures which apply to onsite workers can often be extended to those who operate away from the office.

Linda Devereux, director of the NGH, stated: "A lot depends on carrying out a risk assessment with the individual worker – there might be certain things that you need to take into consideration because it is a home rather than an actual workplace."

She added that each case is different because people’s homes vary.

Figures produced by the Health and Safety Executive suggested that in 2006-07, 2.2 million people in the UK were suffering from an illness they believed was caused or made worse by their employment.