Thousands of small firms are closing their offices every month and working from home because of the state of the economy, according to new research.
A survey of 500 companies by mobile phone giant O2 showed that one in eight had not renewed a lease on an office or business premises in the past few months and were now operating remotely or from home.
O2 said the study suggested that 50,000 small businesses could be closing down offices every month in the UK in a bid to cut costs.
Two thirds of those polled who were still working from an office said they were considering giving it up in the next year.
The main reason for the change, as well as a reluctance to sign fixed term rental contracts, was a need to reduce costs, as well as fears of a recession, said the report.