Condeco

Busting the myths of working from home

There are clear reported benefits for working from home, yet employers are reluctant to believe that the office is not the best place for their employees. Condeco unveils the truths behind common misconceptions of working from bed…I mean, home

There is a growing pressure for organisations to introduce flexible and remote working as the number of people working from home grows to 1.5 million in the UK alone. However, some companies are resisting the trend towards flexible working despite the popular demand.

Working from home has a negative reputation of people spending less time working and more time on domestic tasks. Contrary to this view, working from home reportedly increases productivity and lowers rates of sickness and absence.

Working from home enables people to avoid the stress of long commutes and allows them to focus away from crowded offices to focus at the task at hand. So why do employers continue to believe the opposite?

Employees won’t be as productive

Former London Mayor, Boris Johnson, commented on the topic of working from home: ‘We all know that is basically sitting wondering whether to go down to the fridge to hack off that bit of cheese before checking your emails again’. This is the fear of most organisations. If employees are not in the office, does their attention turn to non-work related tasks? However, for many employees the absence of the office means a more focused environment, without distractions.

While some employees work better in quieter, more comfortable environments, home working is easy to take advantage of. If this is the concern, then organisations should implement strategies to manage this, rather than dismiss the concept entirely.

It’s bad for morale

Working from home means that employees do not have the face-to-face interaction with colleagues and there is a misconception that this can lead to unhappy employees. In fact the opposite is true, remote workers report lower stress levels, in particular reference to the long commute to and from the office.

Meetings will die out

The culture of the workplace consists of a constant stream of formal and ad-hoc meetings. Remote working does not necessarily mean that people working away from the office are absent. The introduction of video conferencing or conference calls are an obvious solution, but also working from home does not always mean exclusively working from home – employees are able to attend meetings at the office on a semi-regular basis.

Clients won’t take the business seriously

There is a negative attitude towards home working that, typically, traditional offices hold. With consideration to the benefits of remote working, including financial savings, it is unlikely clients will consider your employees to not be serious about their work. However, if clients do display a negative attitude towards home working, then the easiest way to debunk the myth is to show directly how remote working can have positive implications for the business.

Condeco’s report on working from home report can be downloaded here.