Last week marked the UK’s national “Work from Home” day, when a TUC report revealed that almost 200,000 workers in London worked from home in 2017. That might sound like a lot, but it’s only 5% of the capital’s workforce. By contrast, a study by Fuze stated that 1 in 5 workers would actually take a pay cut or demotion to work from home! At our leading London recruitment agency, we believe in true flexible working. So today, we’ll look at the benefits of working from home for both employers and employees.
Despite the common belief that employees want to work from home to avoid working, it’s been demonstrated that working from home actually increases employee productivity. Your staff may have a more comfortable working environment at home, free of office distractions and annoying colleagues. This may be especially true for roles that involve high levels of concentration, such as PA jobs, proofreader roles, and finance positions.
Working from home has also been shown to increase employees’ happiness and motivation levels. It shows employees that their employer cares about them and their wellbeing. Especially for female staff who have caring responsibilities, working from home enables them to better manage their work-life balance. This leads to staff being happier with their employers.
Happy staff mean staff who want to stay. At a time when 4.5 million people are reportedly considering changing job, it’s vital for employers to retain their existing workforce. Businesses are more like to do this by offering remote working and flexible working options. Offering home working can be the difference between keeping or losing a valuable employee if a change in their home circumstances means they need more flexibility. It also makes companies more attractive to job seekers.
Allowing staff to work from home makes work more accessible for everyone, including disabled workers and those with long-term caring responsibilities. According to studies, more than 200,000 disabled people in the UK currently work from home. It also means that employers can hire talented staff from further afield, for example, hiring talented virtual PAs to fill PA jobs.
5. Environmental and financial
There are other benefits of letting employees work from home that aren’t so obvious. One of these is reduced pollution levels, as less staff are using transport to get to work. This is great for employees, as they don’t need to waste time (and get frustrated!) on their daily commute. It saves money for employers, as they can reduce premises and electricity costs by letting staff work from home. It’s also cost-effective for employees, who can save money on transport costs, office clothes, and work lunches.
Mind the gap!
With so many benefits of remote working, why don’t more businesses offer it? Why do only 1 in 20 work from home when 1 in 5 desperately want to? One suggestion is that company culture prevents employees from remote working, either because of negative perceptions from other employees or because it’s not promoted at manager level. Another issue preventing homeworking is the lack of appropriate IT to enable staff to do their job from home.
How to improve the situation
If you’re an employee who would like to work from home but don’t currently have the option open to you, speak to your manager or trade union about your options. If you work in a PA or EA job that requires you to work closely with your manager, could you work remotely one day a week?
If you’re an employer and you don’t currently offer remote working, consider whether you can introduce it. If you do but it’s limited to certain roles or levels, could you make it more widely available to employees? Do your staff really need to be in the office all of the time? Could you let everyone work from home once a week?
For more information on issues affecting the UK workforce, stay tuned to the Love Success blog. If you’d like to find out more about temp or permanent PA jobs or office support jobs in London, get in touch with the team today.
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