One in four workers (28 percent) would move jobs if they weren’t allowed to work from home, increasing to nearly half (45 percent) of millennial workers. Yet while two thirds of UK employees (65 percent) can work from home, 35 percent are still not given the option of working remotely. Totaljobs’ research revealed that remote working is in the top five most important benefits when looking for a new job, beating perks such as enhanced parental leave, travel allowances and learning and development. One in five workers would pick a job that offered remote working over one that did not when deciding on a new role. Given the choice, two fifths (38 percent) of the UK workforce prefer working from home, a figure that rises to 46 percent of 18-34-year olds as opposed to just 31 percent of over 55’s, clearly showing the popularity of remote working options to the millennial workforce. The flexibility that remote working offers is most appreciated by women, with a quarter (24 percent) preferring the option of working from home or in the office compared to 16 percent of men.
Two thirds of bosses (65 percent) offer remote working options to their workforce, with 38 percent of these employers saying they do so to help employees manage their work-life balance. Interestingly, a quarter of employers (24 percent) offer the option to work from home in a bid to reduce staff sick leave.
One fifth of employers (19 percent) believe their staff are more productive and happier when working remotely, which is why they offer it – which is backed up by employees, as 21 percent of workers believe they’re more productive when working from home. Over a quarter (28 percent) of employees also believe that being allowed to work from home is a show of trust from their boss.
However, on the flip side, 12 percent of British bosses do not offer remote working options as they find it too difficult to manage their workforce remotely, and of those that allow it, 15 percent admitted to using software to track how long employees have spent on certain tasks.
Justification for this is perhaps linked to team morale, as one in six (16 percent) workers with colleagues who are working at home not believing that their colleagues are working hard enough.
Only one in ten (12 percent) agree that they’re happiest when working in an office environment. Only 4 percent of workers said they’d prefer to hot desk in their office, and just 2 percent would choose a co-working space. When asked about working remotely, 22 percent said there are fewer distractions contributing to their overall sense of improved productivity.
Martin Talbot, Group Marketing Director at totaljobs, said: “With the UK in the throes of a productivity crisis, now is the time for employers to find ways of addressing this issue. The research finds that many people work best from home, however, many employers don’t trust their team enough to work independently. Companies, as well as the wider economy, would benefit from improving embracing remote working.
“Our research also confirms a shift towards remote working, with an increasing number of millennials viewing the option to work remotely as a priority when looking for a new job. With news that 28 percent of workers would change jobs if their current employer did not offer remote working, it is more important than ever for businesses to improve their work from home offering.”
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