Why do you work from home?

The coronavirus lockdown has meant more people have been working from home than ever before. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that almost half of all of people in employment (47%) did some work at home during April 2020, the vast majority of which (86%) did so as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But if you were told you had the chance to work from home  indefinitely, what would be your main motivation for working remotely? To avoid the commute? To get away from the office politics? To improve your work/life balance?

There are all sorts of reasons over 4 million of us choose to work outside of the office – a study from Together Mutual Insurance has just taken a closer look at why telecommuting is becoming ever more popular, as well as some of our work from home habits.

Here’s what it found…

Why work from home?

The study found that the main reason people work from home is to dodge the daily commute, while nearly a quarter (23%) stay at home so they can take breaks whenever they feel they need one, with around one-in-ten regularly taking a long lunch.

Over a third said they prefer to work from home to avoid the distraction of their colleagues, so they can concentrate on the job in hand without the diversion of office gossip and chit-chat.

But remote working brings its own distractions, and nearly half (40%) admitted their working day is often interrupted by some trivial tasks. Of the 40% that found themselves distracted, almost two-thirds (64%) reported household chores and chatting to friends and family at home often gets in the way, while just under that number (60%) run personal errands during work time.

And although more people than ever are work remotely, 20% of those surveyed said they’d work from home more regularly but for their company limiting the number of days they’re allowed to do their job away from the office – it seems employers still like to keep staff where they can see them.

What do you wear when working from home?

Do you spend all day in your pyjamas when you work from home?

If so, you’re far from alone –  has found that nearly two-thirds of us (60%), don’t bother getting dressed when working from home.

And when  it comes to attitudes towards using the home as a workplace, more women (14%) than men (9%) feel guilty about working remotely, but that still doesn’t stop 61% of women staying in their pyjamas all day, compared to only 53% of men.

The trouble is, not dressing for work, not to mention not dressing at all, isn’t good for productivity – even if  you feel comfy slouching around in your pyjamas, you’ll not be working to the best of your ability.

How to work from home

Although most us would welcome the opportunity to work from home, at least every once in a while, there’s more to working from home than sitting in you comfy clothes and checking your emails – it takes a lot of discipline, and no little equipment, as a minimum you’ll have to set up a virtual private network (VPN) to ensure you can connect to your company server, and a reliable, contract free conference call provider to make sure you never miss a meeting (opting for a service that doesn’t require a contract means you only pay for the calls you make).

If you’re unsure whether you’re cut out for the telecommuting life, check out Could you cope with working from home?  And if you think remote working is the way to go, here’s how to ask your employer about flexible working.

You’ll also need to consider things like home insurance, as you may need extra cover for any additional office equipment you keep around the house. Different insurers will have their own rules where remote working is concerned, but as a general rule of thumb, here’s what might affect your policy.

Work from home jobs that may affect home insurance

The following could affect your Home Insurance:

Keeping stock or money
Storing specialist equipment
Holding meetings with clients.

To cover any business equipment, it is likely you will need a specialist insurance policy.

If you decide to employ someone, you will need, by law, to have employee liability insurance, which will not be included in our Home Insurance policy.

Work from home jobs that may not affect home insurance

There are various areas that will not affect your Home Insurance, including:

Administrative roles
Basic clerical activities
Web-based roles.