Last updated on 5. June 2019A Bitkom study from 2017 confirms: Working from home becomes increasingly popular. From 2014 to 2016 alone, the percentage of employees, who work in a home office, increased by 10%. Around half of businesses even expect that this trend will gather momentum in the next five to ten years. Apart from higher salaries, the first unions have already started to negotiate about more flexible working times.
Employees, Bosses and the Environment are pleased about the Home Office
Considering its increasing popularity, working from home has to offer some advantages. We have summarised these advantages for employees, employers and even the environment.
The Home Office protects both Nerves and the Environment
The development of home office work relieves local and long-distance public transport, the road network, city centre traffic and additionally reduces noise and CO2 emissions. With less employees being present in an office at the same time, the need for office space and infrastructure is reduced. Around 40,000 employees took part in the last Home Office Day 2011 and the savings per year were projected as ca. 9,200 tons CO2. On the organiser’s pages, there is even a calculator to identify how much CO2 a company could save on average by using home office.
A Productive Place of Wellbeing: the Home Office for Employees
The Benefit of Freedom
By working from home, employees gain many freedoms – on the one hand regarding the organisation of their working day, but for a better coordination and balance between family and career. The child, who wakes up in the morning with a cough, does not become a crisis thanks to a parent working from home, neither does the pick-up from the nursery, or kindergarten when mum or dad are stuck in a meeting or in traffic. Not least, working from the home office mostly allows a more intuitive organisation of leisure time.
There’s no Place like Home
Many home office workers state that they simply feel most comfortable at home. The environment is designed according to their own requirements and preferences and employees are not tied to the desk in the office. Homeworkers can take their laptop and sit on a couch with their legs up while typing, enjoy the sun while working on the balcony, or simply walk around their home or do a bit of yoga, when their back becomes tired again from sitting.
Instead of mediocre canteen food or a sandwich in front of the screen, while clicking through the slides of an upcoming presentation, employees in a home office can eat as they choose. Those who want to eat healthy don’t have to quickly chop a salad to take away before leaving for work – health-conscious home office workers have all the ingredients and utensils for a well-balanced meal handy, at home. Also, important breathers to gather ideas and strength can be realised more easily at home, rather than in an impersonal office space.
In short: At home we are our own master. It does not matter if you fancy wearing baggy clothes, whilst enjoying your favourite chocolate latte macchiato – neither is a problem in the home office. Those, who are grumpy in the morning, can gently ease themselves into their work, without hissing at their colleagues. And home office workers do not disturb anybody when they’re listening and singing along to their favourite new album in a loop and at full blast.
Satisfied Employees, lower Costs and higher Productivity
Despite the benefits gained by the employee, the home office is not only a purely benevolent service by the employers. Through lower numbers of staff present at the same time, employers benefit from lower costs for office space and infrastructure. If employees use their own devices at home (BYOD), this also affects a large proportion of the hardware costs. It has also been shown, that those working from a home office report less time off sick, and that staff fluctuation decreases, as working from home motivates staff and they are more satisfied in their job. Higher satisfaction and an undisturbed work environment also increases productivity. In offices, staff are disturbed on average every eleven minutes and the omission of disturbances leads to those working in a home office to produce one quarter more work in the same time. Delays due to traffic jams or public transport are eliminated and employees do not lose any energy during the morning’s trip to the office or due to the noise levels in an open plan office. Additionally, employees have much more of an incentive to work as efficiently as possible when they are finished with their day after completing their workload, rather than having to stay until 5pm in any case.
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