Nearly a quarter (24%) or around 7.5 million workers in Britain have expressed their desire for homeworking, claiming they would rather work from home just one day a week than receive a pay rise.
The study, by Institute of Inertia, a partnership between Compare the Market and the University of Sheffield, found that slightly fewer workers suffer from “procrastination or inertia issues” when working in an office.
The research also found that 48% of workers are happier when they can work from home and nearly a third (32%) of British workers "feel more productive" when they do so. Two thirds (66%) said they get fewer interruptions while working at home, meaning their concentration isn't broken, and 64% said it allows them to structure their day to suit their needs.
Over half (56%) said working from home allows them to be flexible with their working hours. More than a third (35%) said they have more control over their to-do list and a third highlighted not having to go to as many meetings as a big positive.
Despite the benefits for employees and employers, the Institute of Inertia study found that almost half (48%) of British workers never work from home, even though 60% would if their boss gave them the option.
The study also showed that home working is more productive for older workers, with nearly three quarters (73%) of over 45 year olds saying they feel more productive at home, compared to 30% among 18-24 year olds. Seventy-four per cent of over 45s said they feel "more in control of their workload", less stressed (65%) and "generally happier" (77%) when working from home.
Dr Thomas Webb, social psychologist at the Institute of Inertia said: “Working from home not only allows workers to embrace a healthier work-life balance but also gives them the opportunity to focus on the tasks at hand, rather than be distracted by meetings and everyday office life. It also makes employees feel trusted and valued by their bosses leading to higher retention levels.
Simon McCulloch, director of insurance at Compare the Market, said: "We have a flexible working policy at Compare the Market and so we've seen first hand the boost to productivity and engagement that can come as a result of this approach. Flexible work shows that our employees are a recognised and trusted part of the business – meaning happier staff that stay longer."