Two in five Brits now work from home on a weekly basis, saying it makes them more productive and less prone to stress, according to new research.
A survey of 5,500 employees by jobs site Monster has found working from home (WFH) is on the rise, with 40% taking the opportunity at least once a week, and one in 10 now working from home full-time. In fact, the practice is becoming so popular that a quarter (26%) of Brits surveyed said they would not accept a job if it did not allow them the option of working from home.
The positives of working from home are clear, as over half of those surveyed (59%) said they are more productive when they choose to work from home and 46% said they actually prefer to work from home.
When asked to list what they felt the most important benefits of working from home were, those surveyed said time saved commuting (30%), a better work life balance (22%), higher productivity (14%), reduced stress (11%), and money saved from no longer commuting in to work (9%).
A small proportion also highlighted their reduced carbon footprint as a bonus. The average person in the UK would reduce their CO2 emissions by 988 kg, equivalent to the volume of CO2 absorbed by 44 fully grown trees in a year.
However, despite the benefits, almost half (47%) of employees said their workplace doesn’t have an official policy on working from home. And perhaps because of this Brits do have some concerns about converting to working from home. A third (33%) admitted they like to work from home but only part-time, 15% are concerned about colleagues judging them for being out of the office, and 11% said they worry they are less likely to be considered for promotions.
For those who want to embrace working from home but are unsure how to approach their employers, Monster has created a template letter asking for flexible working that can be filled in and presented to managers to get the process started.
Louise Goodman, Marketing Director at Monster, said: “Working from home is a growing trend in the UK. However, some businesses have been slow to adapt. For anyone who thinks they would work well outside of the office environment, and would like to save a little time on the side, you are well within your rights to ask your employer for the opportunity to work from home.
“At Monster, we ran a few ‘what if’ scenarios looking into the other positive impacts that increased working from home could bring. It turns out, beyond potentially improving work life balance, we could see less crowded trains, substantial savings and significantly reduced CO2 emissions. All very good reasons to consider a switch.”