The war on talent requires forward thinking employers to constantly review the perks and working patterns they offer to attract the very best talent.
However, many might be surprised that the latest research from Totaljobs has revealed that working from home is in the top five most important benefits when looking for a job, beating perks such as enhanced parental leave, travel allowances and learning and development schemes.
Indeed, working from home is considered so important that nearly three in ten workers (28%) told the Totaljobs’ researchers that they would move jobs if they were not allowed to work from home.
Currently, only six per cent of the UK workforce regularly works from home, according to the TUC, however another four million would like to do so for at least part of the week.
The organisation believes there is still employer resistance to home working, while lack of access to fast and reliable internet may be a constraint in some parts of the UK.
Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary said homeworking can improve productivity and stop the loss of experienced staff who need greater flexibility for family responsibilities.
O’Grady said: “Lots of people would like to work from home but have not been given the chance by their boss. That’s a shame, because it can benefit employers as well as workers."
"Many bosses already recognise that homeworking can make staff happier and more effective, but other employers need to catch up.”
Phil Flaxton, Chief Executive of Work Wise UK, which organises National Work from Home Day, said for an increasing number of people the world of work was “no longer confined to commuting to a place of work five days a week”.
“During the past decade there has been a substantial increase in 21st-century employers who have embraced modern, smarter working practices, such as homeworking, to the benefit of their organisation and its employees.”
Indeed, some of the UK’s leading employers are embracing the benefits of working from home. Anne Sheehan, Enterprise Director at Vodafone UK believes that employers need to embrace this modern way of working.
“With digital technology transforming all industries, there has never been a better time to embrace smarter ways of working,” she said. “Where it’s not possible or practical to get people together physically to complete tasks, there needs to be the right technology in place to enable employees to work together virtually and to collaborate from afar. Technology can enable smarter ways of working for employees wherever they may be.”
The Totaljobs research highlights the main reasons behind employers providing workers the option to work from home with 38% of employers saying they do so to help employees manage their work-home balance, whereas 24% say they do so in a bid to reduce staff sick leave and as a push to maximise staff productivity.
Interestingly, the research highlights that many people work best from home, although many employers don’t trust their team enough to work independently. This lack of trust is shown by 15% of bosses admitting to using software to track how long employees spent on certain tasks.