The majority of Britons believe that a lack of commute is the prime benefit to working from home, with flexible hours coming a close second, according to new research from World Options.
Both office-based staff and those who already work from home were polled by the shipping solutions provider and franchisor World Options, with respondents from both sides in agreement that a lack of commute is the number one draw to working from home. 51% of people who already work from home included the lack of commute in their top three benefits, while 64% of those who do not currently work from home agreed that this would be in their top three motives for leaving an office-based role.
Some 45% of home-workers said that being able to start and finish when they want was in their top three main benefits, while 50% of office-based respondents said this was among the three major perks.
The vast majority – 73% – of those who do not currently work from home said they would or might like do so in the future.
“Wearing what I want” was another popular appeal, cited by 37% of home-workers, and being able to work uninterrupted was chosen by 30% of office workers as one of the top three reasons for leaving a traditional working environment in favour of the home.
Stewart Butler, Group CTO and Managing Director of World Options, said:
“There are many benefits to working from home, not just for employees but for business owners who are looking to cut overheads and provide staff with a better work-life balance. With problems on many train routes this summer and congestion on the roads, it is perhaps unsurprising that so many people selected the lack of commute as their main incentive to work from home.
“Today’s workforce is looking for a flexible career that fits in better with their life outside of work and businesses must adapt to this change, or risk losing the best talent to more forward-thinking businesses and self-employment. The cost of renting extra office space has also got business owners working from home. Jobs that can be done from any location appeal to many types of workers, but especially to those with family commitments that require an element of flexibility.”
People were also asked about the downsides of working from home and 36% of home workers and 51% of office workers said being distracted by household chores and errands was one of the top three disadvantages.
The office or study was the most popular room that people choose when working from home, with 34% doing so, while 21% work from the sofa and 10% work in the bedroom.
The findings follow a World Options survey last year, which revealed 68% of people aged between 18 and 54 said they either dream of working for themselves (19.5%), are actively making plans to work for themselves (16.5%) or are interested in working for themselves (31.5%).
“A lot of our World Options franchisees have meetings with customers via online applications such as Skype which, again, is a sign of how technology has changed the business world and our ability to work from home. We no longer need to travel across town for a 30 minute meeting when it can be done via our computers and we can be more productive in our working day by reducing travel time, but still have that face-to-face communication with customers online.”