Picture someone working from home. What do you see? A person tapping away at a keyboard in their pyjamas? Someone walking the dog when the rest of the world is commuting?
There are quite a few cliches out there, very few are true, but remote workers do enjoy a level of flexibility and freedom that office workers may not get. In a recent survey, conducted by Reed Commercial, some 400 UK home workers were asked what the benefits of working from home were. The responses highlighted some of the key benefits, but we also got a few interesting comments along the way. Here are four slightly more unusual reasons our survey found for working from home:
1. “I can look after my dogs”
A number of respondents said they enjoy working from home because they can look after their dogs, or have the opportunity to foster dogs. And it’s not as barking mad as it may seem.
Working from home gives you the complete freedom to work how you want and when you want. If you want to pop out and walk the dog, you can. If you need to pick up the children early from school, you can. Home working gives you complete flexibility in terms of your working hours, and 55% of respondents said this flexibility was a key benefit to home working. One-quarter also said an improved work/life balance was an advantage, whether you want to spend more time at the gym, with family or with your pets.
2. “I can work naked on hot days”
This response may raise a few eyebrows, but it demonstrates a core benefit to working from home – you can wear whatever you want and have complete control over your environment. One in six of the respondents agreed with this sentiment, although most said they enjoy working in casual clothes or their pyjamas, not completely in the buff!
3. “I can roll out of bed and get to work”
When you work from home, the daily commute shrinks to the distance from your bed to your desk. It’s a key benefit that was identified by more than one-third of the respondents, who also said that the time and cost savings, as well as the reduced stress levels, were all advantages to having no commute.
4. “No backstabbing colleagues”
While this response does seem a little extreme, many of the respondents enjoy the solitude of working from home and the separation from a conventional corporate environment. Being your own boss and not having to make small talk with colleagues were among the reasons given by one-in-eight of the respondents as a key advantage of remote working.