Six reasons why people should ditch the office and work from home

Six reasons why companies are not taking people working from home more seriously By Polly Hogan for the BBC There are over 7,000 private workplaces in the UK that can benefit from home working….

Six reasons why people should ditch the office and work from home

Six reasons why companies are not taking people working from home more seriously

By Polly Hogan for the BBC

There are over 7,000 private workplaces in the UK that can benefit from home working.

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And that’s not including the many public sector jobs that work from home, or the vast numbers who work through a third party or away from the office.

With computers getting smaller and faster, with the gadgets like iPads and iPhones ever-present, and workplaces becoming mobile, there is a huge potential for workplace mobility.

Many experts in the field of workplace mobility say that it is so tempting for companies to bring people back into the office, because they think it is best for them.

But those experts say they are guilty of perpetuating stereotypes about home working and IT people, and sometimes, like so many things, might have something to hide.

Across Europe

Remote working is hugely popular across Europe.

Across the UK alone there are more than 9,000 private workplaces that can benefit from home working.

In Ireland, about 120,000 people work from home on a regular basis.

Italy is another country where it is widely recognised as a great idea.

There is even a collaboration between thousands of big companies, who have come together to improve their home working policies and make it easier for people to work at home.

Germany, on the other hand, doesn’t think that works so well.

It does not have enough employees who are comfortable with a virtual workplace, or who want it, or who know people who are comfortable with it.

And with the wealth of un-skilled domestic workers, it is difficult to find people who are driven to work in a virtual workplace, where they cannot see a significant family and live close to family.

Constant intrusion

There are several schools of thought on office culture, the way companies should structure their workplaces, how to make working at home better.

The traditional view in this country is that a working day should start, and finish, at the same time, every day of the week.

But when you are, on average, 25% more productive than your conventional office life, that might not be the best thing.

European countries like Germany are starting to see the benefits of having two employees working virtually 24/7, and you see more head office staff in London travelling to the business to meet with counterparts elsewhere on a regular basis.

But those remote staff are often not able to choose when to travel or when to go home.

Claire Gill, the head of culture for the Open University, who is based in London, said: “In fact, all of us living and working in London are actually exposed to far more noise pollution than we are living and working in rural areas in Ireland.

“It affects our daily working environments, our daily routines, our ability to focus and even the quality of our sleep.

“Does one road trip make a difference? No. Does one day and one night make a difference? No. I have plenty of conversations with colleagues who have travelled to campus for two weeks in a row, without noticing that a pattern has formed.

“I don’t want them to be able to fall off the phone because of sound like I can.”

It can be hard to create the right environment for remote working, even for someone working from home.

You might be able to get a desk and put some computers and printers away, but that doesn’t mean you can prevent interruptions.

Two people have to share one computer, or have their own desk for a designated purpose, so you might have to share that, as well.

You might be able to work on your own computer, but you cannot work in isolation from one other person.

Sometimes when you are trying to work, something is being brought into the room that you need to see, or you need someone to confirm the package, or you need someone to look up the recipe.

Some companies do actively encourage collaboration, and return you to the office as soon as you start to lose momentum.

Many companies, however, remain unwilling to go down that route.

When Claire Gill started at the Open University she said: “In an office I managed 11 or 12 people. Now I manage one.

“That is a good day in terms of effective collaboration.

“And, yes, there is the feeling of being cut off when you are sitting in isolation.

“I often miss colleagues and interaction that I would get by being at a café in the office.

“And it would be nice to get home late at night when I know I could spend time with someone.”

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