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The news from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that the number of people working from home has risen to the highest level since records began has brought a mixed response from business leaders and other interested parties. With 13.9% of the workforce now either working from home full time or using their homes as a base from which to travel to customer premises the idea that work has to be central office based belongs to the past.
Admittedly, of those working from home 63% are self employed but as the statistics don’t include those employed workers who base themselves at home for one or more days a week, the picture is firmly of a workforce which is moving towards flexibility. However, according to the TUC, some organisations have yet to grasp the benefits of home working. TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said that “Too many bosses still don’t trust staff to work from home” adding “Employers’ attitudes to new working practices must change to make a much better use of modern technology in all workplaces.”
With numerous studies showing the benefits of home working to both employee and employer it is perhaps surprising that working from home is still treated with suspicion by some. The face of business has changed and employers who can embrace a mix of flexible working, home working, working from alternate sites alongside trips to the office will be rewarded with engaged and highly productive staff.