Despite a survey showing one in two people working from home have experienced mental illness - 81 per cent of workers want to continue the practice.
The ACTU's Working from Home Report surveyed more than 10,000 workers with 63 per cent of respondents women.
It found while there were many positives from working from home, there were also disadvantages including "the tendency towards excessive working hours, to create a dysfunctional overlap between paid work and personal life, increased stress, and risks to health and safety".
"An overwhelming 81% of workers said that they would like to have the option of performing all or most of their work from home if they were provided with enough support," the report said.
"The survey results show that many home workers are working more hours, not getting paid for all hours worked, incurring significant work-related expenses, suffering mental health problems and have a worse work life balance."
In September, the frequency of people working from home had "increased significantly" with 31% of survey respondents working from home most days, while nearly one in 10 worked from home at least once a week.
The ACTU Working from Home Survey showed:
- 40% are working longer hours, many 5+ extra hours per week
- 90% not paid overtime or penalty rates
- Average $530 per person additional expenses incurred
- 30.9% said they have an increased workload
- Almost half (49%) of those working from home have experienced some form of mental illness.
It recommended a Working from Home Charter of Rights.
Unions Tasmania secretary Jessica Munday said the findings of the ACTU report also were reflected in a Tasmanian survey.
Ms Munday said working from home undoubtedly has many benefits, for both workers and employers but there was also a downside.
"It can facilitate better work/life balance, deliver greater productivity, reduce travel time and provide more flexible hours," Ms Munday said.
"But there are issues and potential issues around workplace safety, excessive workloads and 'work creep' - where your working day doesn't really end until late in the night.
"Some workers have also reported having to buy equipment or supplies necessary to do the job at home, things that would usually be covered by the employer in the office."
Ms Munday said Unions Tasmania would work to ensure there was a framework and rules around working from home so that it was a safe for workers and delivered them the same rights as if they were still in the office.
"There was a big difference in how workers felt about the work from home experience if they had children to care for at the same time," she said.
"Whilst most wanted to continue with at least some work from home, those who were balancing caring needs found it very difficult at times and wanted greater recognition of this and support from the employer."
Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive, Michael Bailey, said he did not place "much cred" on a union driven survey.
"It is classic Union goalpost moving," Mr Bailey said.
"They argue for years that there should be more flexible working conditions for workers, including working from home, then throw rocks at employers when it is provided.
"Business owners feel like they can never win, and judging buy the decreasing union membership numbers it would appear that workers agree with their bosses."
Mr Bailey said working from home was managed under usual WHS conditions and also under the employment contract that the employee was under.
"Things do not magically change just because the workplace has moved to a new location," he said.
"There is no need for additional red tape here - a "Home Charter of Rights" would potentially confuse the situation rather than improve it.
"If employers are requesting that employees undertaking their work from home, do more than their contract of employment or award requires, they should urgently report that to Fairwork.
"Mental health is an increasing issue across the workplace, not just workers at home. The ongoing uncertainty and stress are major issues for many."