Making Home Working Work

Making Home Working Work                                    Factsheet 43

There seems little doubt that some sort of remote working from home will continue well beyond the end of the coronavirus crisis. In the UK, the number of employees working remotely between 2008 and 2018 increased by 25% and matched by a similar increase in Europe; remote home working was going on well before the crisis.

Cloud technology means that working from home and or remotely is a comparatively easy step to take; all the data is held remotely and can therefore be accessed remotely, from anywhere. Having had fifteen months or so to practice working from home, some firms are already experts.

With months working from home under their belt, most employees have had sufficient time to get used to the practice, including those who have already invested in a work pod in the garden or inside their home. Some have used their kitchen or dining room tables, whilst others already have the luxury of their own study and or computer games room.

There have been umpteen surveys on the subject of home working versus in-office and most have confirmed employees want to carry on working from home, at least for some of the week; Friday will no doubt be the most popular home working day. A survey done in late 2017 showed that over 50% of employees would prefer to work from home as it made them less stressed, particularly by the daily commute. Few commuters enjoy their journeys to and from work, so cutting this out completely or for part of the week, will build a happier and more productive workforce as well as reducing their costs.

Employers will now need to offer flexible employment terms if they want retain their employees. Surveys keep being done on home working versus office working productivity and home working has been winning, making home workers the clear winners over their office counterparts.

When properly equipped home workers are happier, offer better customer service and more likely to remain loyal to their employers. It follows that by enabling a flexible home working regime employers will gain greater loyalty and respect from their employees.

Enabling employees to work from home is a good way to improve customer relations and loyalty. Employees with a better work/life balance are more motivated and better able to engage and empathise with their customers’ needs.  By designing home working regimes and policies, connecting everyone and everything for collaboration, and standards of behaviour, including even a re-write of terms of employment, will ensure best practice for home workers.

Home working will cut costs back at the office, maybe even warrant the need for an office relocation, but home workers will require investment in time, IT and security if the ‘Home Working Model’ is to be the success it deserves to be.

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