Remote and flexible working is on the rise, but is it really good for business?
Despite numerous studies finding that flexible working can actually boost productivity by reducing the time spent commuting, helping to relieve stress and offering employees a better work-life balance, there's still a perception amongst many that those who are able to work from home are lazy so-and-so's.
Plenty of people would like to work more flexibly. A survey just published by real estate and facilities management software player Planon Software found that of 100 professionals surveyed, 50% would jump at the chance. Frankly I'm surprised that number isn't higher. Who really wants to endure the daily commute? I'm sure if you conducted the survey on a packed Central Line underground train in the peak of the rush hour, you'd find few people who wouldn't swap their journey for the ability to pad downstairs and log on - without even having to change out of their pyjamas if they so desire.
Planon noted that as well as being a boon for productivity, flexible working policies can potentially have the added benefit of enabling a company to reduce its real estate and IT costs: fewer people in the office means fewer desks, fewer PCs, fewer phones and so on. Plenty of staff would prefer to pay their own IT and phone costs at home in return for being granted flexible working options.
But what do you think? Is working from home good for a company and its staff, or is working from home really just legitimised skiving?