MOST of Britain’s growing army of stay-at-home entrepreneurs feel happy working that way, but more than a third have experienced feeling of loneliness, research suggests.

Thirty-eight per cent of UK businesses are now home-based, with the number increasing by three per cent over the past five years.

Research for Barclays looked at the emotions experienced by ‘homepreneurs’ and found 68 per cent had felt happy and 62 per cent excited about running their businesses at home. Fifty -nine per cent said they were more efficient working at home without distractions, while 20 per cent said they sometimes worked in pyjamas.

But 37 per cent experienced feelings of loneliness, with half saying these emotions were a consequence of not having people around for support.

Lucy Hitchcock, founder of Bournemouth digital marketing agency Sassy Digital, said: “In the early days, the main challenge was thinking that because I worked from home I could work from bed or in my pyjamas – which is definitely not productive for anyone. But I quickly realised that this left me feeling isolated and slobby, and I felt more unproductive because of it.

“As my business went into its second year, I moved to Bournemouth to live with my boyfriend. Part of my negotiations for moving was getting a dog not just because I love them, but they are the best company. It was around this time that the business really started to get off the ground, and perhaps the two were related, but I certainly felt more positive about my business going forward.

“Soon after I decided it was time to move into a co-working space. I eventually settled on the Barclays Eagle Labs in Bournemouth because it’s close to my house which meant I could either take Woody in with me, or go back to let him out at lunch time. It means I go in for a full working day – something I’m really strict on – and I can get so much more done in a day than I would at home because there are no distractions.”

Sassy Digital now employees a team of two and manages social media accounts for several small successful businesses.

Mark Walker, ecosystem manager at the Barclays Eagle Lab in Westbourne, said: “There are clear benefits to working from home, with entrepreneurs saying that alongside the joy of being their own boss, they’re happy and productive.

“However, running a business from home does not come without its challenges. Having a support network is key, with over a quarter saying they want to work alongside more like-minded businesses and collaborate with people who can help them grow their business.”

Lucy also warned against working without a proper desk space. “I’ve had terrible back problems from working at home. Don’t be fooled into sitting on your sofa with a laptop because I’ve had to have physio for it,” she said.

“You definitely need to get set up properly with a computer screen, chair and desk if you’re going to work from home full time. This was also a big reason I decided to move into an office space because I don’t have the space for a desk. The sofa is not your friend.”