Pets around Britain, rejoice! It’s National Work from Home Day, 2017!
Over 4 million people in the UK have now ditched the office to work from home and those numbers are on the increase as the draw of flexi-working continues to grow. But is working from home really as good as everyone thinks?
Does the reality match the expectation of working from home?
In 2017, the long-running rural co-working space, FunkBunk, and cool, new furniture brand, Helmm, conducted initial research amongst people who worked from home. Roughly half of the respondents were self-employed and half worked for a company as employee or contractor. The majority who responded were based outside of London.
When asked if they enjoyed working from home, there wasn’t a single person who said they didn’t – although 52% did say that home-working has its ups and downs.
People love not having to commute
Of all the perks, people most enjoyed not having to commute. Work/life balance was also a popular benefit, as were the flexible hours.
Whilst the benefits of working from home were many, the survey did reveal some downsides.
When asked about the worst aspect of working from home, the majority of respondents (43%) didn’t like the social isolation. 18% found the distractions and procrastination challenging. 14% felt that they never truly switched off from work, whilst 13% felt frustrated that people didn’t perceive them to be ‘really’ working or to have a real job when working at home.
People miss the social interaction – but don’t take advantage of co-working
When asked what one thing they would change about working from home, 52% said they would improve their level of social contact and interaction.
With only 12% of respondents saying they have used a co-working space or hot desk, it begs the question as to whether more home-workers would benefit from escaping the home environment, on occasion, to be in the company of others.
Home office set-up and furniture is important
Whilst just over half of people were generally happy with their home-office set-up, a quarter said they would improve their workspace furniture or location if they could. The remainder either didn’t have a dedicated workspace at home, or wanted to update and improve it.
56% of respondents use a supported or ergonomic chair whilst at their desk. Encouragingly, 5% also used a standing desk. According to recent research, Google searches for standing desks have increased more than six times over the past 12 months so we wouldn’t be surprised to see that number rise over the coming year.
Whilst working from home does appeal to most, there is clearly an opportunity to make sure the wellbeing of remote workers isn’t being forgotten while they work on their own at home.
We’d love to know what you think. Let us know about your experience of working from home in the comments below.