'Working' from home?
by YouGov in Editor's picks and Life
Tue August 7, 2012 4:11 p.m. BST
58% British workers say it boosts productivity; 67% London workers not doing so during Olympics
Despite over half of Britons saying that they would like the chance to work from home if they had all the IT resources to do so ‒ and large numbers of office workers feeling that working from home would actually boost their productivity ‒ most admit that their company does not allow it, our survey has found.
Additionally, many say that a lack of face-to-face time would be a problem if they worked from home.
- 52% of British adults say they would like to work from home if they had all the necessary IT resources to do so
- 58% of British office employees believe they can be as productive (36%) or more productive (23%) when working from home than they would be in the office
- However, 51% of all employed British office workers say that their employer doesn't allow them to work from home
- 31% of British office workers have worked from home in the past twelve months
As for using the Olympics as an opportunity to ‘skive’, the poll of 2,063 Britons for communication software firm Skype reveals that actually, over two thirds (67%) of London’s office employees will not be working from home any more than they do usually during this time (neither will 89% across the country).
Director of Product Marketing at Skype Linda Summers commented on the poll, saying that while "office based workers would prefer to have more flexible working structures, employers are concerned that productivity would be affected. What neither seems to have fully realised is that technological advances actually allow you to have both."
Around a third of people who have ever worked from home (31%) said that lack of face-to-face time is one of the top reasons for not working as effectively when doing so.
In fact, Summers continues, the issue is not technological but behavioural: "People are saying they want to work from home and they are productive when they do so, but they just don’t want to feel isolated," she says.
'Basically sitting eating cheese'?
London Mayor and Tory MP Boris Johnson hit the headlines early last month when he warned too many Londoners from taking the 'working from home' option to help ease commuting congestion during the Olympic Games, which are currently taking place in Britain's capital.
He controversially told the Daily Mail, "We all know that [home working] is basically sitting wondering whether to go down to the fridge to hack off that bit of cheese before checking your emails again," appearing to contravene Government advice that had suggested home-working as a possible option for commuters wanting to avoid the Olympic crowds.
The BBC reported last week that the record for the number of people travelling on the London Underground 'tube' was broken every day for the first three days of the Olympics, with a high of 4.4 million using the network on Friday, compared to 3.8 million this time last year.