The flexibility and freedom of working from home far outweigh any financial benefit, research reveals.
In a survey conducted by Reed Commercial, 400 home workers were asked what benefits they had seen from working in this way. Flexibility was the most popular reason given, by 55% of the respondents, more than one-third loved the lack of commute, one-quarter saw a better work-life balance, one-sixth prefer the home environment to a conventional office and one-in-eight prefer to work solo, without a boss and/or colleagues, according to the respondents.
Way down the list of benefits is that working from home is a cheaper option with fewer overheads, which was cited by one in ten of the respondents, and only one respondent said they work from home as they make more money. It’s clear that the social benefits of home working are more important than the financial benefits to these workers.
So, why is flexibility so important to home workers? We’ve taken another look at the responses and here are four key reasons:
Many of the respondents appreciate that home working allows them to be there for their family. Whether it’s the school run, reducing childcare costs or just being able to see more of their family, particularly during the school holidays, at-home workers feel the benefit.
Flexible Working Hours
Choosing when you work is a big bonus for home workers. Whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, you can work to a schedule that suits you. One respondent said: “It’s actually very convenient to work from home because of the flexibility and I can work when I’m most alert, and help out clients by being available out of normal office hours.”
Think home workers doss around all day in their pajamas? Think again. Employees who work from home said they felt more productive in the home environment because they are not wasting time with the daily commute, for example. One respondent said: “[You are] more productive as you can make your working environment meet your needs. [You] can plan your day, prioritizing work.” Other responses said the home office is more productive as there are fewer interruptions from colleagues, and you can work in a quiet and peaceful environment.
Another strong theme in the responses is the ability to multitask. Home workers can do a little housework, walk the dog, will be in for important deliveries and can make medical appointments without having to travel to and from the office, for example.
There are many reasons why flexibility is so important to so many people. These advantages are as diverse as the people who benefit from them. The research also puts forward a pertinent point to employers—instead of offering an employee a pay rise, would they prefer to work from home on a part-time or full-time basis? It’s worth asking and could result in the company seeing the associated cost savings and a happier workforce.
Author: Sandy Purewal is Marketing Executive at Reed Commercial. Reed Commercial specialize in matching individuals to the right business franchise for them.