Time-management Key for Homeworkers

Working From Home

Work Wise UK has urged employers with doubts over the productivity of homeworkers to train these staff to manage their time effectively.

Working From Home

Research from Plantronics, a communication headset provider, revealed that a fifth of employers believe that homeworkers do less work than those based in the workplace. Work Wise UK chief executive Phil Flaxton said:

“Homeworkers are as productive as those in the workplace, if they are re–trained to be able to manage their own time. Working remotely, your contribution to the business changes. When you go to the workplace you are judged on the input that you make while you’re there, but when you work remotely it’s about managing your workload independently.”

“Employers are often reluctant to provide homeworking opportunities due to a lack of trust, and because there has been a culture of ‘presenteeism’ in the workplace for more than 100 years,” continued Flaxton. “However, they have no choice, particularly in the current economic climate. For a number of people, if their employer is unsympathetic to their requests to work at home to save on fuel costs or whatever, they will just find a job nearer home.”

The research also showed that 46% of workers who work from home admitted to spending over an hour a day engaged in non–work activities. However, according to Plantronics, this could be explained by homeworkers multi–tasking.

Plantronics general manager Paul Clark said:

“The suspicion that homeworkers don’t work as hard or waste more time is very old–fashioned. Homeworkers are more likely to work smarter and multi–task more, whether that’s replying to emails while on the phone, putting on the washing while participating in a conference call, or welcoming the children home from school between tasks.”

Flexible working support group Working Families added that flexible working can have a positive impact on the work produced by an employee.

Working Families spokeswoman Liz Whitehead said:

“A recent report by Cranfield School of Management and Working Families illustrated the positive impact on both the quality and quantity of work produced by flexible workers,”.

“Forward–thinking employers recognise the many benefits of offering flexible working. These include attracting and recruiting good employees, as well as increasing employee loyalty and satisfaction,” she added.

For guidance on introducing flexible working practices, including homeworking, visit the Work Wise UK website

Acas runs a series of training sessions for employers introducing flexible working and other family–friendly policies. Visit the Acas website for details.

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