The Benefits of Home Working

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The Trade Union Congress (TUC) have recently stated that nearly one in five UK employees would like to work from home but is being prevented from doing so by their employer. Many jobs require staff to attend the workplace but there are still a large number of jobs that could be carried out from home and business could benefit by adopting more flexible working patterns. Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary said: “Working from home is growing in popularity but millions of staff are still unable to try it out thanks to over-controlling employers. Too many workers are wasting their time making journeys they don’t need to, clogging our transport networks during the rush hour and adding to their carbon footprint unnecessarily, while companies are losing out on the cost and productivity benefits of home working.” The TUC gives five ways employers can benefit from home working:
  • Better staff recruitment and retention Home working can widen the recruitment pool by attracting people who have traditionally struggled to find work, such as single parents and those with disabilities.

  • Improved motivation and productivity Employees are more likely to have high morale where employers are seen to take account of their needs. Employers as diverse as the Nationwide building society and the Ministry of Defence are reporting productivity gains achieved by home working.

  • Improving the quality and reputation of the service Good employment practices can enhance the reputation of businesses. Home working and flexible working can extend the hours when businesses are in touch with customers.

  • Reduction of sickness absence and travel costs Not working in an office environment can reduce exposure to colds, flu and other contagious diseases. Cutting out the commute can reduce stress.

  • Infrastructure cost savings Home working can save on car parking space, office rent and running costs. BT saves £2.2 million per year through home working and flexible working, whilst Suffolk County Council was able to cut the size of its new central services office block by one-third by using these practices.

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