Just over 13% of the UK’s workforce currently work from home, but is it time your business had an office shake up and introduced remote working? We explore the benefits of flexible working policies.
As of 1st April, business rates across the UK are set to increase by up to 60%, which is linked to the revaluation of property in Britain. It’s the largest change in rateable value for a generation, and it comes as a blow for many businesses, particularly those operating within London and the surrounding area.
To side step these rates, some businesses are beginning to explore where the boundaries of their working environments really lie. With the rise of cloud computing and collaborative applications, working from home is becoming an increasingly popular option. So much so that today there are already four million homeworkers in the UK, amounting to just over 13% of the workforce.
Working from home is a big perk to employees – it’s fast becoming one of the most sought-after employee benefits. In fact, our recent research found that 39% of employees would sacrifice some of their salary for this perk, with 21% of this 39% being prepared to give up a massive 10%.
There are multiple reasons why employees want to work from home, as it enables them to work in an environment that’s suited to them and helps them to be as productive as possible. What’s more, it’s felt as a symbol of trust from their employer, with 93% of employees and 95% of HR professionals agreeing that working from home policies make employees feel more trusted and valued by their organisation.
But there are plenty of reasons why your business should consider it too. So with this in mind, we’ve put together our top reasons why a flexible working model is a good move for your business.
Hiring the best of the best
Attracting the top talent is an imperative for every business. But, when your business’s operations are confined to the four walls of the office, your talent pool is refined to the surrounding area. The great thing about a flexible working policy is that it enables you to hire employees that are further afield, meaning that your options are much wider, with a greater chance of hiring the best of the best.
And, as an added bonus, because employees see working from home as such a great benefit, you’ll find that the number of people who want to work for you will sky rocket!
So long, stressful commute!
Whether it’s racing for the last remaining parking slot or battling for a seat on the tube, commuting is stressful, and a bad trip to work can very much impact your performance at work. One of the best benefits of working from home is that your employees no longer have to negotiate the stressful commute in, meaning they’ll be in a better mood and more productive.
This comes with great benefits to your business, too, as less time wasted on commuting can mean more time for work. Not to mention, it’s good for the environment too.
Fewer sick days
When your staff are feeling under the weather, a trip to the office on a crowded commuter train isn’t ideal. When working in a commute free, comfortable environment, however, your staff are much less likely to take a sick day as they’ll almost always get work completed at home. What’s more, when your staff don’t frequently come to the office, they’re less likely to bring sickness with them!
Office cost savings
Allowing your employees to work from home saves on office space, allowing your business to either downsize to save on business rates should you want to, or hire more staff without need for upheaval.
With your employees working from home, you’ll save on office supplies too, whether that be endless supplies of coffee, stationery or basic utilities. Every little helps!
A vote of confidence
Of course, it’s natural to think of the liabilities your business could face by allowing your employees to work from home. You can’t keep tabs on them all the time, and you won’t always know how much work they’re doing.
But, because you enable them to work within their own environment, you in turn show them that you trust them, making them feel inherently feel more valued. By demonstrating this trust, your staff will want to prove to you that they are deserving of it, and your business will reap the benefits of their heightened productivity in the long run.
Of course, a working from home policy never has to be all or nothing. If your business is on the fence, why not give the idea a test drive to see whether it works well for you and your employees? If it’s a success, and your business is looking for a remote worker, why not search for your ideal candidate here.