End of an era: are home workers more productive?

End of an era?
End of an era?

After surveying 1,800 professionals, they found that 84.3 per cent of home workers believe they are more productive than office workers and more than three quarters of the UK workforce believes that working from home has a positive impact on productivity.

Concerns from managers and CEO range from how they can ensure people are working enough, to worries that people will actually overwork. Working from home means there is no 6pm cut-off, but people may work into the night or early in the morning, which can have a knock-on effect. However, the study found that 83.2 per cent of those surveyed believed that working from home enabled them to maintain a good work/life balance.

Lee Biggins, CV-Library's founder and managing director, says: “Despite the increasing number of hours that British staff are working, productivity rates remain low in the UK, indicating that our approach to business and the working day needs to shift. We already know the huge contribution that our SMEs make to the British economy and this is another opportunity to enhance that. Whilst home-working isn't suitable for all businesses, it can provide clear benefits to companies and employees alike.”

It’s all very well working from home, but how can managers and CEOs rest assured that work is being done away from the office? Firstly, it’s important to remember that most employees want to see the business succeed too. Business success, especially in an SME, can bring promotions and wage increase and few employees would jeopardise this opportunity. Additionally, it isn’t in people’s nature to be sluggish when it comes to work – many people love to push themselves. Joanna Swash says, “It’s a reality of our times that customers are no longer content to conduct their business between the traditional hours of 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, which means that the office itself, and the structures within it, are changing.”

Jason Downes is managing director at Powwownow, a conference call provider, and he wouldn’t think twice about letting staff work from home: “Working from home is something we actively encourage and believe it to have huge benefits both for our employees and as a business. You only have to look to the recent tube strikes to see many London workers and businesses struggle to fully function; if home working is in the company’s culture then there is no need for incidents of this type to have an impact. Why have staff embark on horror commutes and be limited to where they can choose to live, when they can be as productive at home?”

In the next instalment of our End of an Era series, we take a look at the alternatives to office or home working…