By Daniel Hunter
This week (19-25 January) marks Work From Home Week. In June 2014, new right to flexible working laws were introduced in the UK, declaring that all employees — who have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks — are eligible to request flexible working, including the option of working from home.
In fact, most recent figures now show that around 14% of people in employment are working from home, highlighting the idea that it’s increasingly becoming a viable and attractive alternative for businesses.
Launched in 2003, Work From Home Week, running from the 19th to 25th of January, puts a spotlight on this rising figure, raising awareness of working from home for both employers and employees alike.
In a time of constantly evolving technology, it’s never been easier to access information away from the office, so we’re calling on employers to embrace the opportunity as a way to boost happiness and productivity among their employees.
Graham Long, Vice President of the Enterprise Business Team at Samsung UK explained they support working from home: "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.
“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."
Of course, for many across the UK, working from home isn’t just for a week. For the hundreds of single parents, carers, injured veterans and those living with disabilities, working from home is a necessity.
To celebrate working from home, the team behind the campaign have compiled the top 5 reasons to consider it.
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.
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