Developments in communication and technology have made mobile working easier than ever, and the number of home-based workers in the UK is on the increase. According to analysis published by the TUC, 1 in 16 (6.1% of the workforce) worked from home in 20171.
There are some real perks to working from home for employees; it can cut out that long commute, give them more time to spend with the family and help improve work-life balance. It can also have benefits for employers; from increased productivity to employee retention. However, remote working does also come with its own set of challenges for both employers and employees.
What are the benefits of working from home?
There are a number of advantages to working from home, for both you and your team.
- Productivity. One of the most frequently discussed benefits of working from home is that it increases employees’ productivity. According to a study by Canada Life Group, home-workers ranked their productivity at 7.7 out of 10, compared to a score of 6.5 out of 10 given by those who worked in open-plan offices2.
- No commute. According to Totaljobs, the average UK worker will spend 400 days of their life commuting3. Commuting can be one of the most stressful parts of an employee’s day, particularly if they regularly get stuck in traffic or face train delays. Having the option to work from home eliminates the stresses that are associated with commuting, even if it’s just for one day a week.
- Employee retention. Employee retention can also be an advantage of home-based working. Some members of your team may struggle to balance childcare and full time work, which could result in them having to leave their job. Offering the option to work from home can allow parents to take their children to school and still be back at home in time for a full day’s work.
- Recruitment. Remote working can also benefit your business’s recruitment efforts. Not only can it act as an incentive for candidates who may be looking for flexible working, but it also widens your talent pool as you aren’t restricted to the candidates that live in your local area.
- Technology. It’s now becoming easier than ever for people to work remotely with all of the technology and digital tools that are available. From shared drives and folders to allow your team to work collaboratively on projects regardless of their physical location, to instant messaging and video conferencing so your team can communicate.
- Lower costs. As your team wouldn’t need an office space and other facilities typically associated with working in an office environment, you could also lower your costs by having your workforce work remotely. This is particularly the case for businesses based in London. According to research by Savills, work stations in London cost businesses an average of £15,000 per employee in rents, rates and service charges4.
- Avoid office politics. Whether it’s the temperature that the office heating is set to, or the music that is being played on the sound system, being able to work in their own home allows your team to avoid the office politics and create a work environment that is perfect for them.