HAMPSHIRE is one of the UK’s top “hot spots” for people working from home, according to an economic research group.

Smart Growth Analytics ranked the county as second nationwide among the 174 principal local authorities, which, it said, highlights the growing importance of working from home. Figures show there are around 25,000 home offices in Hampshire. Topping the charts is neighbouring Surrey, with 27,000 – almost five per cent of total area employment.

Jim Plunkett-Cole, principal analyst at Smart Growth Analytics, said the statistics make a strong case for the need for faster broadband speeds in rural areas. He added: “The findings show the economic importance of home offices in regional economies across the country.”