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The majority of workers, 78 per cent, want more access to flexible working as a benefit in the absence of pay rises, a survey has found.The poll of 1,000 office workers, by software provider TeamViewer, showed that 68 per cent of employees would like to be able to work from home.Half the respondents said they would like to travel less for work, while nearly a quarter of 25-34-year old staff said they were “happy to work in bed”.However, the survey results suggest that a large number of UK businesses are yet to implement a clear flexible working strategy.A quarter of respondents said they “never” work from home, while a further 18 per cent “rarely” work from home. Only 26 per cent were able to choose when they want to work from home, while a further 22 per cent said home-working arrangements were flexible as long as they got prior agreement from their manager. When asked what would further improve their home working experience, 55 per cent said faster online connectivity, whilst 51 per cent wanted to have access to all work documents to simulate being in the office. Meanwhile, a third wanted their employer to make a contribution to their utility bills. Among those who were able to work from home, 14 per cent liked to work in the garden, while 7 per cent said they worked while cooking. More than one in 10 admitted to working in bed (23 per cent in the 25-34 years-old category) and 5 per cent said they had done work in the bathroom.Interestingly, while UK workers do like the flexibility of working from home, many stick to their typical office routine. More than a third take tea and coffee breaks at the same time each day, 35 per cent start work at the same time, 33 per cent always shower before they start work and 29 per cent always finish work at the same time every day. “The findings of this survey show that flexible working policies can satisfy employees seeking an improved work-life balance,” said Holger Felgner, general manager at TeamViewer.
I find it surprising that the article makes no reference to productivity or other benefits for the employer. I'm very confident that these benefits do exist, but the discussion needs to reflect those too. If calling for more companies to adopt a flexible working policy, from a business point of view it's not enough to justify it by saying that employees enjoy it. (While personally I am pro flexible working!)<br/><br/>To learn more about the value and pros and cons of home and flexible working, I'd like to see more thorough research into how it impacts teamwork, innovation, delivery...
While home working can have benefits for employees, I have to question the quality of an employee's contribution if work is undertaken whilst cooking or while being in the garden! Let us also not forget that there have to be benefits for the employer as well. While employees who are allowed to work from home may be more engaged and feel more trusted, there are many organisations where face-to face contact is an essential part of many jobs and remote access via email or phone is either not acceptable or, at best, is a poor substitute.<br/><br/>Yes, organisations need to adapt to new ways of working, and to change management's thinking, but let's not forget that in many cases, home working will never be an acceptable way of work of working flexibly.