Homeworking is becoming increasingly popular with employees for a variety of different reasons; employees wanting more flexibility, technology making it easier for people to do their jobs anywhere, rising costs of commuting etc.
The number of people who are working from home is steadily increasing. ONS figures indicate that in 1998 there were 1.3 million people working from home and 4.2 million in 2014.
Homeworking can be done 100% of the time or employees can spend some time at home and time in the office, depending on the needs of the business. It can also be used in conjunction with other arrangements such as flexible hours, working part time or term time working.
Considerations for employers
Employers need to think about whether it is appropriate for employees to work from home for various reasons; ability to manage staff working from home, training / development, costs for initial set up, employees wellbeing etc.
Employers need to consider if the job itself is suitable for an employee to work from home or whether the postholder needs to be at a work base. Employees’ often request to work from home because it is suitable for them but companies need to weigh up the pro’s and cons from a business perspective.
Employers may want to consider setting up a Homeworking policy or including it as part of another policy to understand what is acceptable and expected from employees. Employers do not have to accept requests of homeworking if they do not believe that the job can be performed successfully.
There are four key indicators for managing productive homeworking;
- Building trust between staff who work from home and their manager
- Agreeing how work performance will be measured
- Communication when someone is working from home
- Training and Development
Working from home can be beneficial, both for Employees and Employers, if careful consideration is given to all aspects of the homeworking arrangement before it is agreed. Employees often feel a greater job satisfaction and employers see increased productivity and some overheads can be reduced.