The UK leads Europe with the number of employees who spend some of their working week at home, according to analyst group Datamonitor.
But both IT managers and analysts foresee growing areas of conflict for IT departments and home workers.
Across Europe, Datamonitor estimated that 14.5 million people work from home at least one day a week. Of these, 6.5 million are UK workers representing almost a quarter of the entire country's workforce.
The group said that 11.5 million of Europe's home workers can be classed as teleworkers, working online from home. Three quarters of all teleworkers are male.
While analysts see the attraction of working from home, especially for those with long demoralising journeys into work, IT departments will be put under increasing pressure.
"Issues of complexity and security will come into play," said Jon Newman, director of financial services technology at Datamonitor. "A lot of IT departments are nervous about plugging the corporate virtual private network [VPN] into the public internet, and then there's the issue of firewall management."
Newman added that IT managers may be keen to deter staff from working from home, and IT managers agreed.
Alan Paul, business information manager at Marshall Aerospace, said: "I only allow a maximum of two days home working a week, and only then if the people can do their job at home."
Marshall uses VPN and always-on broadband links to the main site for home workers, Paul said.
An IT manager from a research company said that he did not encourage home working, one of the reasons being the security risks concerning PDAs.
"As a rule we won't let people put company data or anything subject to the Data Protection Act on PDAs," he said.
Datamonitor has estimated that by 2005 there will be almost 40 million home workers in Europe, with the UK still leading the way with 8.3 million.
"The IT manager's job is to simplify the chaos," Newman said. "Home working will add to the complexity of the job and I think it's something that IT managers will be dragged towards doing rather than embrace it."
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