According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), there are around 4.2 million people working from home. That means the number of home workers has increased by nearly a fifth in the last decade.
The change of heart from employers was triggered by union leaders urging bosses to be more flexible with their employees, suggesting they be allowed to work from home if possible, to support childcare needs and to reduce commuting costs.
Whilst that is certainly fantastic, the TUC have stated that despite the huge increase in the last ten years, employers are not yet managing to keep up with demand.
Working remotely has become a more feasible option in recent years thanks to modern technology allowing us to access huge work databases from our comfy sofas at home.
Effortless Access To Work Data Anywhere, Anytime
There are companies out there that offer on-demand, real-time access to IT resources 24/7. In fact, it is easier than ever to accommodate home working for your employers as virtual infrastructures handle all the difficulties for you.
They allow you and your employers to work from anywhere, any time with the assurance that your business data is completely protected with a top-level security service. After all, it would all be redundant if you couldn’t have a guarantee of cyber security given the recent increase of devastating ransomware attacks.
Remote working is a perk for many, but an absolute necessity for some. It is an essential way for some disabled individuals to work, with around 160,000 people with a disability working from home currently, according to research published by the TUC.
The Perks Of Remote Working – For You And Your Employers
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady has previously said:
"Modern home-working is good for the economy, as it helps businesses hold on to talented staff and boosts productivity. And it allows those with caring responsibilities or a disability greater access to the jobs market.
"While home-working may not work in all professions, I would urge employers to look at the value it can bring to their business and their workforce."
WorkWiseUK, a not-for-profit organisation working with businesses to improve work place productivity say that ‘Smarter Working’ is the way forward if the UK is to become one of the most progressive economies in the world.
Smarter Working arrangements can achieve numerous things, including improvement of motivation in staff, retaining experienced workers and an increase in productivity.
Considering productivity is a key issue for UK businesses, it is certainly worth considering implementing some Smarter Working methods into your organisation. There are many organisations out there who have already adopted the Work Wise Way and they are already reaping the benefits of doing so!
Work Life Balance
Work life balance is of huge importance to most, but many individuals in the UK are struggling to achieve this. Being a business that recognises the need for a modern-day approach to working life can and will make all the difference to the performance of your staff.
Phil Flaxton, Chief Executive of WorkWiseUK, which organises National Work From Home Day, said:
“The structure of our economy and consequently our workplaces has changed significantly. Cultural, economic and social changes are affecting attitudes to how we balance or mix work and lifestyle, where increasing mobility and technology is shifting the acceptance or need for traditional office based, 9-5 work patterns, to be replaced by more home-based, flexible ways and periods of work.”
One easy way to start is by allowing and even encouraging remote working situations among your staff. Improving workplace wellbeing should be a priority for all organisations, so storm ahead of your competition and start putting your employers first. You really will see a positive impact.
Saving Your Business Money
As well as better productivity and work life balance for your employees, you could find your rent costs are slashed as you may have the opportunity to downsize after employing a remote working strategy.
Working remotely can benefit employers just as much as employees. Research suggests that businesses that actively encourage remote working actually save money in the long run.
With the introduction of cloud solutions, it is no longer about the location of the employee, but rather about whether they have access to a reliable internet connection. It really does boil down to something as simple as that. As Simon Slade, CEO and co-founder of Affilorama put it:
“By allowing employees to work remotely, you can hire the best of the best while not limiting yourself by geographical restrictions.”