April 19th 2016

Should you be part of the remote working revolution?

With the increasing integration of digital devices within the workplace, it’s now easier than ever to work on the move and utilise those hours spent commuting by responding to emails; crafting proposals or catching up on the latest industry news.

Mobile devices have also given rise to an increase in remote working. According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, 4.2 million of the UK’s workforce are now home workers – this is the highest figure on record and equates to 13.9% of thw workforce.

Whether you’re an employee or business owner home working can be useful but, when it comes to the office vs working from home debate, there’s no clear winner. You need to identify which environment best suits your individual needs – here are some of the pros and cons for you to consider:

Pro: cost-saving

Setting up an office at home can help curtail work-related spending e.g. costs associated with commuting such as train tickets, petrol, parking fees. Along with the cost savings, cutting-out the morning and afternoon commute will also save you time and reduce stress levels.

For a business owner, the requirement for office space is reduced if employees have the option to work from home.

Pro: flexibility

Flexibility is one of the main reasons people choose to work from home. Home working often enables people to strike a better work-life balance which can be particularly beneficial for people with family commitments.

Pro: productivity

According to recent YouGov Omnibus research, 30% of office workers feel that their productivity levels increase when they work from home with only 17% saying it makes them concentrate less.

Con: distractions

It’s incredibly easy to be distracted at home when not under the watchful eye of your boss. Just 30 minutes of wasted time each day may not sound like much but that equates to two and a half hours per week – that’s nearly 4 weeks over the course of a year!

Con: loneliness/lack of communication

Working on your own all day with no social interaction can be lonely. It can also be difficult to maintain open and continuous communication with colleagues if you’re not alongside them in an office each day.

There’s no simple solution to the debate and you need to consider what’s right for your business. If you do choose to work from home, you should aim to set up a professional space which promotes productivity in an area away from distractions.

It is also worth checking whether the equipment which you use is automatically covered under your business or household insurance or whether you need to acquire additional cover.

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