New research by jobs website CV-Library has revealed that homeworkers feel they are equally, if not, more productive than if they were based in an office environment.
The study of 1,800 professionals across the UK found that three-quarters those questioned thought that working at home made them more productive, with 65 per cent saying they actually worked longer hours too than if they were office based.
Why homeworking works!
Avoiding the daily commute in the rush hour to work, the creation of a distraction free environment and the ability to structure their work around other social and leisure commitments were the main reasons given by professionals for higher productivity.
Lee Biggins, Managing Director at CV-Library highlighted why homeworking can help both employers and employees.
He said: “As long as employers manage their employees effectively and monitor productivity levels, it should be easy to determine which environment works best for staff, and ultimately, the company’s output.”
A recent study by the TUC revealed that the number of people homeworking over the past decade has increased by 800,000 to more than four million employees in 2015.
Earlier this year it was revealed that allowing workers to work from home resulted in them taking fewer days off sick – 1.8 sick days per year compared with office based staff who took on average 3.1.
Overcoming the management challenge
Employers considering changing work practices by introducing homeworking initiatives face a conundrum in their bid to make it work.
How can you be sure that home workers are productive when not physically in the office? The answer lies in the ‘cloud’.
The latest integrated workforce management systems facilitate homeworking by empowering workers to carry out their everyday duties from any location and retain communication with their managers.
Because they are hosted in the ‘cloud’, employees have the autonomy to login into a secure web portal from any location to check their daily work schedules and allocate their time against specific jobs.
This enables them to demonstrate their productivity and output in the same way as if they were in the office, dispelling the myth that if people aren’t at their desks then they aren’t working.
Although employees must be trusted for their own time and attendance management when working from home, employers have a duty of care under the Working Time Regulations to account for the workforce, meaning attendance records are still required.
With real-time access to ‘live’ reports and an audit trail of data, managers have the evidence they need to verify the movements of their workforce at all times. But that’s not all – they can also control the work carried by workers and all costs attached to them, with complete visibility of projects.
Changing the work culture
Being flexible and innovative about how and where employees carry out their work can be a win-win situation for both employees and you as an employer.
Firstly employees can enjoy a better work-life balance whilst it enables workers approaching retirement to adopt a more flexible approach to their role.
Meanwhile as an employer you benefit from reduced office space costs, reduced absences and enhanced productivity and job satisfaction.
This could be the difference between losing and retaining key talent.
Surely that makes homeworking worth considering?