Growth in home working still leaves room for many more to follow suit

Those working from home now account for 13.7% of the UK workforce, but there’s still potential for many more to do the same

The number of people regularly working from home has risen to 4.2 million in the last decade. Meanwhile, a further 1.8 million people say they would like to work from home but  are not given the chance.
That’s according to research carried out as part of this year’s Work From Home Week – designed to educated employers and employees about the benefits of working from home – which runs between 15 and 21 January.
Those working from home now account for 13.7% of the UK workforce, but there is potential for many more of us to reap the rewards of home-working, according to Work From Home Week founder Adam Cox.
Cox says that while many companies offer flexible working, or the option to work from home, employees often feel resistant to the idea, opting to stay in the office to ‘prove’ they’re working.
More than half (53%) of workers feel they’d be more productive if they could work outside the office, being free to work without unnecessary meetings, confusing email chains, or long calls.
Cox claims general job satisfaction and happiness increases in people who work from home, being in comfortable familiar surroundings where you can enjoy a greater degree of control over your immediate environment.
He says working from home means employees are less likely to be exposed to illness, due to avoiding packed public transport, or busy offices where they may be forced to be in close proximity to ill co-workers.
Cox points out that the UK is also estimated to lose £300 billion by 2030 due to lost time during traffic congestion and says working from home eliminates this time wastage, helping employees, their employers, and the economy. Reductions in commuting time can help improve worker mental health, reduce tiredness, and increase overall productiveness by giving them greater flexibility.
He said: “Technology means that most of what needed to happen in an office can happen at home. While it won’t work for certain industries such as catering or building it certainly is viable for most office based sectors. We have found that productivity can actually increase significantly as employees are no longer experiencing the same level of distractions or interruptions.”
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