This week is Work From Home Week – an awareness campaign that will run from Monday, January 14th to Sunday, January 20th, with the aim of putting the spotlight on how working from home can benefit both employers and employees alike.
If you’re unsure about the benefits of working from home, you’re considering offering employees the opportunity, or even thinking of pulling existing work from home benefits, here’s why you should get involved in next week’s awareness campaign.
What is Work from Home Week?
Work From Home Week was launched in 2003, with the aim of encouraging both employers and employees to think about the option of working from home and all the benefits it can bring, from avoiding the rush-hour crush to creating a better work/life balance.
As more and more of us are leading increasingly hectic lives through the prevailing ‘always on’ culture – we’re rarely more than a single click or swipe away from checking in on our work website or emails – so we need to think about how we can improve our work/life balance, which we’ll now rename as life/work balance, as quality of life should always come before work.
Working from home can help, as foregoing the office and a lengthy commute in favour of working from the comfort of your own home can cut the length or your working day and actually make you more productive. Work From Home Week is a hot topic of conversation for the media and has become a prominent fixture in the media calendar.
The work from home trend
Since the introduction of new flexible working laws in June 2014, all employees who have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks have had the the right to request flexible working, including the option of working from home.
And, as we regularly report, the number of people working from home is on the increase – the most recent figures now show that around 14% of people in employment are working from home, which highlights how it’s becoming an increasingly viable and attractive alternative for employers and employees.
Tech helping the work from home boom
Technology is evolving at a rapid rate, and the range of kit on offer, such as high powered laptops and superfast broadband, mean it’s never been easier to access information away from the office.
And so Work From Home Week is asking employers to embrace the opportunity as a way to boost happiness and productivity among their employees – not only does working from home lead to greater morale among employees, it can save employers up to £6,000 a year!
Graham Long, Vice President of the Enterprise Business Team at Samsung UK explained why the tech giant supports working from home.
He said: “At Samsung, we believe it’s vital for people to be given the option and the tools to work flexibly, which is why we view Work from Home Week as an important and worthwhile initiative.
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He added: “Our own research reveals over a quarter of workers would opt for flexible working over a pay rise, and more than four in 10 (42%) employees strongly agree with the idea of being able to access work emails and apps outside of official working hours. Despite this, many businesses still don’t trust their employees to do so, highlighting the need to educate enterprises on the benefits of working from home. The option to work more flexibly can have a huge impact on productivity and wellbeing and with advancements in mobile technology, it is now possible for employees to work beyond the confines of the office, making working from home a choice that should be open to all rather than a select few.’’
And if you’re still not convinced of the benefits, here’s some food for thought…
5 ways working from home works
Money – Not only would you save money on travel costs – train tickets, petrol, parking, etc. – but not eating out for lunch on a regular basis is bound to save you some pennies too. For parents, it gives the opportunity to radically reduce the costs of childcare.
Commute – Forget about delayed trains or road traffic dampening your spirits.
Comfort– Rather than donning a power suit or being restricted to a desk all day, choose your own dress code and working environment.
Green Living – Working from home can help reduce your carbon footprint, conserve office space for your employer, and perhaps most importantly, allow you to be the master of your own environment!
Freedom/Flexibility – Having the freedom to choose your hours and coffee breaks, while not being dragged in and out of corporate meetings all day is something that could potentially boost your overall moral and work ethic. Not to mention it allows you to create that ideal work/life balance.