Work from home day: Why on earth are there not more people working from home?
Today is Work From Home Day, which is an annual event organised by WorkWiseUK to promote smarter working – flexible working and high-quality home-working. The TUC is interested in home working because there is a huge unmet demand amongst workers. Indeed, research commissioned by the previous government suggests some 4.5 million more employees would like to work from home for at least part of the week.
The problem is that difficult economic times means that many employers have turned their attention to other matters, whilst some employees have also become more reluctant to ask for home-working in workplaces where rumours of redundancies are in the air. More now needs to be done to promote smarter working, otherwise we will miss out on an easy win-win solution that also benefits our environment.
Home-working can also benefit employers, both in terms of personnel benefits and reducing office costs. Its is also the case that cutting commuter journeys reduces congestion on our transport networks and attenuates needless vehicle emissions.
The TUC’s analysis of the Labour Force Survey found that the number of people working from home has increased substantially in the past five years- by more than 200,000. However, the increase stalled during the recession and further measures are now needed in order to re-start the upward trend. It could help if the Government extends the right to request flexible working to everybody, but home-working and flexible working are also matters for employer good practice and trade union collective bargaining.
…..and after Tuesday’s nightmare journey (90 minutes to travel 6 miles), I’m really glad that its Work From Home day!
|work from home (thousands)||% work from home|
Source: LFS (autumn quarters) – all in employment