EMPLOYERS who would like to increase their staff’s productivity should allow them to work from home, new research suggests.
A study of 1,096 British workers, including those who work from home and those who work from the office, carried out by CartridgePeople.com in their SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) Workers Report, revealed that 57% believe they manage to get more work done when they are based at home, compared to when they are at their place of work.
Indeed, just 5% of workers report that working from home has a negative effect on their productivity.
And only a minority of 12% of workers feel they are more easily distracted.
Home working is championed by business leaders including Virgin’s Richard Branson and is offered by many leading companies including Amazon, Dell, Apple, Salesforce and more.
The data shows 30.5% of UK employees work from home every day, whilst 14% do so every week.
This scale increases even more when it is considered that 38% of workers admit they work from home outside of office hours with 22% doing so from home in the evening and 18% at the weekend.
However, research by Virgin Media Business estimates that these figures are set to drastically increase – with the proportion of home workers set to increase to 60% of the workforce over the next decade.
This prediction was echoed by a survey of business leaders at the Global Leadership Summit in London, which found 34% said more than half of their business’ full-time workers would be working remotely by 2020.
Andrew Davies, spokesperson for CartridgePeople.com, commented: “When people think about home working, it is easy to wrongly assume that many home workers spend their days getting easily distracted or procrastinating by watching TV or chatting to family members. This data has proven the opposite is actually true – home working clearly allows workers to focus more, with fewer distractions such as the temptation to join in on tea rounds or having unnecessary meetings with colleagues.
“This data suggests that employers could face worse requests from staff than queries about more flexible hours, which would see them working from home. Obviously processes and parameters need to be put in place so that both sides agree how and what will be achieved when staff work outside of the office, but clearly there is an argument that this can actually result in productivity increases.”
The South of England and the Midlands are currently leading the way for home working in the UK, with just one northern city – Manchester – making the top 5 home working capitals of the UK, and just two – Newcastle and Leeds listed in the remaining top 10.
Davies continues: “It could be argued that employers should be encouraged to accept staff members’ requests to work from home. Granted that parameters are set in place to monitor the productivity of home workers, businesses could benefit from adopting a more flexible approach to the working day. In such a competitive business environment, any measure that can see you improve results should surely be explored.”