How productive are you when working from home?

Author

Rhiannon Williams

November 18, 2014

The majority of UK workers feel less productive when working outside of an office. Are you one of them?

How long is your morning commute? Far from battling tube strikes or traffic jams, the short shuffle from bedroom to living room is increasingly the journey of choice for British workers.

Much has been made of how ‘presenteeism’, or having employees physically sit at their desks within an office, is on the wane, with 40 per cent of employees working remotely either full or part time, according to cloud workspace The 4th office.

Costa coffee shops claim to have noted an increase in customers using their stores across the country to work or hold client meetings in the past few years, in the rise of the terrible portmanteau ‘coffice’.

More readily portable laptops and tablets coupled with increased adoption and improvement of WiFi facilities in coffee shops and cafes have lead to around 131 million hours spent working from them each week, according to a study from O2 business earlier this year.

In spite of this rise, new research suggests that three quarters of British employees feel less productive away from their desk than when they’re sitting in an office environment. The primary reason is a lack of the technology to work remotely effectively, found IT services company Ricoh UK.

Motivation and trust issues are also obstacles to productive remote working. When left to your own devices at home, some workers feel the need to deal with mundane domestic chores, or less obliged to work as hard as they would if they felt their boss breathing down their neck.

“It is surprising that so few people feel they are as productive when working at home or away from the office, given the recent drive towards a mobile workforce,” said Ricoh UK chief executive officer Phil Keoghan.

Granting remote access to employee networks, providing staff with laptops and tablets and training them how to use them properly could make a significant difference in the way workers attempt to tackle work outside of the office, he said, as well as motivating them to be more productive.

Cloud services, video conferencing and smartphones are significantly increase productivity, Richo UK found, alongside the use of tablets over paper for note taking, more efficient online collaboration tools and easily accessible virtual profiles which users can log into from any device. The mobile revolution is well and truly here, and has been for years. It’s high time businesses caught up.

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