Most Brits Would Like to Telecommute

A study finds 62% of employees would like to work from home, but technology and reluctant bosses stand in the way

The majority of Brits would love to work from home and believe they would be more productive if they were allowed to do so. The only thing standing in their way? Their boss.

A Plantronics survey of 1,400 office workers has found almost two-thirds (62 per cent) believe they would be happier and more productive working from home but three-quarters (75 per cent) are in jobs that don't allow any flexible working.

As well as bosses' reluctance, the survey also found lack of access to the right technology is as a block to home working. Almost a fifth (17 per cent) of survey respondents said they feel poorly equipped at home and unsupported by bosses who are reluctant to provide the right technology to facilitate home working.

Only 12 per cent of the working population regularly or permanently works from home, according to research by the Trade Union Congress for National Work From Home Day 2008—a figure that has increased by only a fifth over the last 10 years.

The main reasons staff are keen on WFH action include the need to have flexible working schedules; the rising cost of fuel—and therefore of commuting; and the desire for a better work-life balance.

However, despite Brits wishing they could work from home many office workers also apparently believe colleagues who already do so are likely to be slacking—and results from the survey suggest there may indeed be some work-avoidance going on.

Almost half (46 per cent) of home workers confessed to spending over an hour of every working day on non-work activities—with 'personal internet use' and paying bills being the biggest guilty pleasures. One in 10 home workers even confessed to watching TV and taking a nap on work time.

'Multitasking' was also popular with WFHers - almost half (42 per cent) of female home workers said they regularly do cleaning or laundry during the workday—and almost a third of men say they use work time to prepare meals or keep fit.

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