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Poll finds increase in personnel wanting to work in the office

27 February 2012

Poll finds increase in personnel wanting to work in the office Posted by Editorial team

There has been an increase in personnel wishing to work from the office rather than at home, research has found.

Despite the oft-argued view that employees and businesses benefit from those on flexible conditions, UnWork.com's Annual Survey revealed many people would prefer to stick to traditional arrangements when it comes to where they conduct their duties.

Of more than 1,200 global executive questioned, 72 per cent claimed there is low demand from staff members to work from home all of the time, with the poll picking up an increase of people wanting to be seen in the office compared with last year.

As many as 67 per cent of respondents who do not work from home said they felt isolated from their colleagues when conducting their duties, while only 15 per cent said they felt technology and communication was a barrier.

More than half - 57 per cent - said they liked or needed to be seen in the office and chief executive officer of UnWork.com Philip Ross suggested this could be because the workplace offers something to employees that their houses do not.

"What that says to me is that people still want to get out of the home, they don't want to be home-workers, they want to come in and they need that kind of buzz," he stated.

But he also noted most employees only have two options at the moment - either conducting their duties from the office or from their residences.

Indeed, the survey showed 61 per cent said if they work away from their colleagues, they preferred to do so at home rather than in any other space.

Mr Ross explained there are very few places where people can go at the moment unless they sit at home or in the office, but UnWork.com think this could change in the future.

"We predict a huge growth in co-working spaces in a wide variety of environments and mixed-use developments over the coming years, which will enable anywhere-working," he stated.

However, these findings may not provide a good reason for employers to scrap flexible working plans, as other experts and surveys have noted the benefits that come with offering such benefits to personnel.

A recent study conducted by Vodafone UK found many employees highly valued their work-life balance.

Over 75 per cent of those on the payroll in Britain said flexible working conditions improve their satisfaction with their jobs, with the research also revealing this perk has a larger impact on employees' happiness in their roles than other benefits like bonuses or pensions.

What's more, Vodafone's report - Exploring the shift in employee expectations - suggested offering flexible working can improve recruitment and staff retention, with a fifth of personnel telling the company they would seriously consider finding a new position in the next 12 months.

Mike Emmott, employee relations adviser at The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said there are benefits to companies as well as staff members to providing more flexible ways of conducting duties.

"Employees on flexible contracts are more engaged than those who work standard hours," he explained. "They are more committed to the organisation and feel more fairly treated. They are also less likely to take time off."

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