Questions around home office working and flexible working must be raised on a daily basis in my office, dealing as we do with a range of different businesses and work environments, and although I don't have any facts and figures to back this up, I strongly believe that the working from home culture is something that should become more widely adopted across UK industries where it is feasible to do so.
Over many decades it has become a habitual routine to go to your place of work between the hours of nine to five and perform the tasks needed to do your job. For some businesses this model works and provides a great environment. However many businesses are starting to realise that times have moved on, technology is better and more widely available and that as millennials, we can work in a different way.
In a recent conversation with a candidate, she explained to me that she believed she worked harder and longer when she worked from home, as she felt she needed to prove to her colleagues that she was actually working and not sitting in front of the TV!
More businesses need to trust their employees to take accountability for their own workload and time management to get things done - whether this is at nine a.m. in the office or nine p.m. at home. If businesses cannot trust their employees to work flexibly then surely they shouldn't trust them with anything else such as confidential business information and financial details?
Perhaps it's time to start letting employees show they can work effectively from a distance...
n June 2014 any employee who had been in a job for six months or more gained a right to request flexible working; such as working from home, going part time or working flexi-time. A right to request, of course, is not the same thing as a cast-iron right to be granted your wish and employers. If they can come up with a valid business reason they can still decline. But, according to a poll of 2,000 workers conducted in January by telecoms firm O2, eight months on around a quarter (23%) had put their hands up and at least asked the question. The O2 poll also highlighted how technology – laptops, smartphones, remote access to the workplace intranet and so on – can act as both a barrier and enabler to people feeling able to work flexibly.