2012 Finalist



Over the past decade the number of employees who work from home has increased almost 20% to 4.2 million.  And among the industries with the highest share of home workers is agriculture, with 25% of people employed in the sector classed as home-workers.

The Reverberate team, along with several of our clients' teams, contribute to this total. So, with home working in our sector on the rise, Lauren Chambers looks at some of the advantages of having a home-based office, and how working from home can benefit employers as much
as employees.

Anyone who works from home will know it's definitely not all about watching Homes Under the Hammer and meeting friends for lunch. In fact, research shows the opposite, and supports the idea that working from home can increase productivity and decrease stress. Research also suggests companies that encourage and support home working actually save money in the long run.  Here's ten reasons why working from home could bring value to your workforce and business. 

1. Curtail that commute

The daily commute can be time consuming and stressful, not to mention costly. Working from home means that time can be spent doing something productive as well as saving employees money. It also means no lost work time due to bad weather or when the route to the office is gridlocked.

2. Be more productive

There are lots of ways working from home can make you more productive. Fewer office distractions, background noise and trips to the coffee machine make it easier to concentrate and get work done. Having more control over your working time also means you can be more flexible and work outside of the standard 9-5 day to suit both yourself, your employer and your customers. 

3. Fewer sick days

Recent research from Canada found that home workers took fewer days off sick compared to those working in an office (1.8 days for home workers versus 3.1 days for office-based staff. Source: Canada Life Group). This makes sense when you think that employees who have a cold or are mildly sick are often encouraged to have the day off to avoid spreading germs, whereas as at home you can still get work done. You're also less likely to get sick in the first place if you work from home because you're less stressed and run down and exposed to fewer germs.

4. Better work/life balance

Working from home means you are much more likely to have a better work/life balance and therefore be less stressed.  Those extra hours gained from not having to commute put you in a better frame of mind at the start and end of each day, and that time can be spent doing something else such as exercise or helping with the school run. When you work from home there isn't the same pressure to get things done by the end of the office day - you can choose what time your day ends, helping reduce stress around deadlines.

5. Hold on to talent

As well as being less-stressed when you work from home, the greater flexibility means that employees are more likely to stay with a company if they can work from home. Once you've experienced home working, it's often difficult to go back to being office based, so staff are less likely to leave for jobs where home working isn't an option. Often for parents, the flexibility home working brings is very valuable to help with childcare, and for others, being able to start and end your working day to suit you is seen as a real benefit.

6. Widen your talent pool

At Reverberate we're a great example of how being home-based allows us to have a team spread across the UK.  With bases in rural Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Cheshire and Staffordshire, there's no chance we could all commute to one office!  Being spread across the country also means we can be more effective for our clients by working geographically when it makes sense.

By encouraging remote working you can get the right talent for your business, uninhibited by geography or transport.

7. Save money on office space

Having no central or satellite offices saves businesses money. Working from home means a business saves on rent, technology infrastructure and utilities. Aside from the one-off costs of setting up a home-worker, this can save thousands of pounds a month. 

8. Healthier workforce

You are more likely to make better food choices, exercise more and get more sleep if you work from home. All these lead to a healthier, happier workforce. Add in the reduced stress levels and fewer sick days by working from home, and everyone is much better off!

9. Take advantage of tech

Today, you can be connected without being in the same room.  Programmes such as Skype and Facetime mean you don't have to feel remote, even when you are. At Reverberate, our Skype is always switched on, which means there is always someone there to talk through an idea, just as if you were sat next to each other in an office. Superfast broadband and 4G mean that you can sometimes have even better connectivity away from a central office.

10. Never miss an Amazon delivery!

…or the window cleaner, or the meter reader.  OK, so number 10 is a little tongue in cheek - but all these things help make life that little bit less stressful and employees happier at work, healthier and in turn more productive and less likely to leave.

Written by Lauren C at 14:12


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