Security and fairness seen as barriers to homeworking

Flexible working


Many office workers are prevented from working from home due to concerns about security and fairness, according to a new survey.

The survey of 2,000 office-based workers by online security labelling company,, was conducted as part of GDPR work to ascertain whether or not workers were able to work from home. It found that 53% of staff were not allowed or able to work from home; 21% were allowed; 17% could work from home with some restrictions; and 9% could work from home due to health reasons.

Workers who were not able to work from home were also asked why. Thirty-six per cent said it was due to security issues; 24 per cent cited fairness; 21 per cent lack of team work; and 11 per cent productivity.

Seareach says that in addition to the changes coming into effect with GDPR, many employers are looking to step up their security and that this could restrict working from home. On fairness, some staff said that, although some employees could do their job from home, others couldn’t and bosses feared some staff would feel disgruntled if they had to come into work whilst their colleagues could work from the comfort of their own homes.

Stuart Jailler at Seareach said: “Thirty years ago, many businesses were excited to explore the prospects of working from home and allowing their staff levels of flexible working. It was predicted that many office-based staff would be working remotely now, either at home or out and about. With the advancements in technology this is possible. However, it seems like many businesses just aren’t wanting to let go of their staff and allow them to work outside of the office.

“Security and fairness are valid reasons especially when it comes to the concerns of HR departments. For managers, productivity and lack of team work can cause issues; having a team who you are not working physically next to can be a challenge and ensuring the team is cohesive, when the only contact is by phone, email or instant messenger can be less than ideal. Our study shows we still have a long way to go with mastering working home, which is a shame as the benefits can be huge for workforces, the environment and also wages.”

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