Working from home gives employees a range of benefits, from flexibility to ditching the daily commute and achieving a better work-life balance, research reveals.
In a recent survey, run by Reed Commercial, 400 home workers were asked about the benefits of working in this way. More than half said flexibility was a benefit, citing advantages such as choosing when and where to work, and more than one-third said no commuting was a key benefit to them in terms of the time and money they saved, and the increased productivity they could achieve as a result.
A home office can also offer workers a controllable environment that they may not be able to get in a conventional office. One-in-six of the respondents said they enjoy working from home because they can wear what they want and work where they want to, the research reveals.
The benefits to the workforce are clear, but what are the benefits to businesses offering home working? Here are five examples:
- Better staff retention
Working from home can help retain working parents with childcare responsibilities. One-quarter of respondents said that home working gave them a better work-life balance, with more than half of this number citing childcare and family time as reasons why home working worked for them.
- Reduced overheads
With fewer desks, companies can reduce their property and rent costs. Additionally, fewer people in the office means fewer overheads from office supplies and amenities. For those home workers who also own their business, this is a pertinent point, the research reveals.
- Fewer absences from work
Some of the respondents said working from home allowed them to still work, even if they were not able to make it into the office. Those with disabilities or who are caring for family members could still log in and do a few hours of work, if they felt able, which would not be possible if they were faced with a long commute into the office.
- A happier, more engaged workforce
The research reveals that homeworking is a positive experience for the majority of workers and allows them to retain focus on their work as they “don’t have anyone looking over their shoulders”. Other respondents said they are happier in the home environment as they do not enjoy interacting with colleagues, or can find it distracting.
Less than 1% of the respondents gave a negative response when asked about home working benefits – I wonder what the proportion would be for office workers?
- Commuting sucks
“I can’t wait to commute to work today!” – said no one, ever. By allowing employees to work from home and dodge the daily commute, you are freeing up more time for those workers to work. One respondent said: “No commuting enables me to be more productive [and], with the technology now available, there is no need to travel long distances to an office.”