Apparently 4.5 million people want to work from home but aren’t being allowed to do so by their employer… according to the TUC.
They say there are five reasons to consider allowing home working:
- Better staff recruitment and retention… hmmm, okay, we’ll allow this one
- Improved motivation and productivity, mostly ‘cos the employer has been nice. Nope, don’t agree. For every survey that says productivity increases there’s another that says it doesn’t. Anecdotally, if you say you’re working from home, you get winked at conspiratorially and asked if you enjoyed your day off
- Improving reputation of the business because it extends the hours a business can be contacted. Not necessarily and, besides, you can change working hours on the premises
- Reduction in sickness and travel costs. Not sure about this – we’ll never know. Someone could be at home and do prod all whilst healthy and say they are sick – there’s no check on this
- Cost savings on infrastructure. Ahhh… here we go, at last something sensible has been said. The only reason a ‘big’ business will allow home working is if it makes them more money. If it doesn’t, they won’t allow it.
But what about EB? Is home working a good thing?
Well, it could be, if it is managed properly and we go into any agreement for home working with the proper checks and balances in place. For example, a proper home working policy, the correct IT, agreed schedules for contacting the office, performance management procedures to ensure productivity (rather than just hoping it goes up).
If all these things are in place, then why not?
However, there is a worry.
Home working is showing a few signs (again, I admit it’s anecdotally) of being a fad. People work at home and realise they miss the office.
They miss being somewhere else, the variety and so on.
So, if you are considering requests for home working, don’t get rid of the office or the PCs just yet.
They may well be needed again fairly soon.