According to a report announced today, there’s a 68 percent increase in the number of UK businesses hiring remote workers in the last 12 months.

The small business review, which quizzed more than 45,000 businesses in the UK, found that 71 percent of respondents cited flexibility and cost savings for employing non-office based staff. Businesses claim they are saving 23 percent of staff costs due to this shift.

The review found that the move to remote workers is not a temporary fad caused by the recession and rising costs, with almost 70 percent of businesses saying they definitely plan to continue using freelancers in the next year.

Almost half of the businesses revealed that the lasting benefit to their business of the recession is learning how to harness technology and the web to work more efficiently and cut costs.

An astonishing 91 percent of business respondents reported that the quality of work done by remote workers is as good or better than full-time staff.

There figures show that businesses that were forced to recruit remote workers to save costs due to the recession and rising prices, have found that the benefits are so appealing that they plan to continue to use freelancers from now on.

UK businesses have found that the quality of work of freelance consultants working remotely is as good if not better than office-based staff as the financial incentives to do a better, quicker job are clearer. Not only that, but businesses have found the taking advantage of new technology, such as the internet and cloud working, means they work more efficiently.

As a result of these changes, productivity of British business is increasing, quality of work is improving and the long-lasting effects will be a virtual work revolution.