One in four workers would move jobs if they weren’t allowed to work from home, increasing to nearly half of millennial workers, according to a new survey.
The survey of over 1,000 workers and 260 employers by totaljobs 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 said they 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%) of the UK workforce prefer working from home, a figure that rises to 46% of 18-34-year olds as opposed to just 31% of over 55’s. The flexibility that remote working offers is most appreciated by women, with a quarter (24%) preferring the option of working from home or in the office compared to 16% of men.
Two thirds of bosses surveyed said they offer remote working options to their workforce, with 38% of these employers saying they do so to help employees manage their work-life balance. A quarter said they offer the option to work from home in a bid to reduce staff sick leave.
One fifth of employers (19%) 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% of workers believe they’re more productive when working from home. Over a quarter (28%) 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% of British bosses do not offer remote working options as they say they find it too difficult to manage their workforce remotely, and of those that allow it, 15% admitted to using software to track how long employees have spent on certain tasks.
One in six (16%) workers with colleagues who are working at home do not believe that their colleagues are working hard enough.
Only one in ten (12%) agree that they’re happiest when working in an office environment. Only 4% of workers said they’d prefer to hot desk in their office, and just 2% would choose a co-working space. When asked about working remotely, 22% said there are fewer distractions contributing to their overall sense of improved productivity.
TUC analysis shows the number of people working from home has stalled. It says one in 16 (6.1% of the workforce) worked from home in 2017 – unchanged from the year before, but up from 1 in 20 (5.1%) in 2005. The TUC says the number of women working from home has increased since 2005, but that they are still less likely to work from home than men. Some 41% of homeworkers are women with over 60s the age group most likely to work from home. The South West has the highest proportion of people working from home and agriculture is the sector with the highest number of homeworkers. Managers are most likely to work from home (12%) followed by ‘Associate Professionals’ (9%) such as architects, engineers and designers.