Working From Home

by Barbara Buffton

What is home-working?

Home-working is when an employee works from home for one or more organisations. The work carried out is usually the kind that is done in an office.

There are many variations in home-working practices, according to the needs of the organisation and/or the employee. For instance, an employee can work from home:

  • Voluntarily
  • On request by the employer
  • On a full-time or part-time basis
  • On an ad hoc or regular basis
  • Formally or informally.

Different terms

Other terms that are sometimes used include:

  • Teleworkers – these tend to be self-employed
  • Home-based workers – these tend to be permanently based at home
  • Remote workers – these are usually people working in different company locations.

Is anyone else doing it?

According to a survey carried out on behalf of UK National Statistics, by 2005 3.1 million people were officially working mainly from home. The survey also found that a further one million people were working at home on a more occasional basis.

The search for a better work–life balance, rising property and transport costs and the availability of new information and communication technologies all contribute towards the continuing upward trend in working from home.

As the cost of computer equipment and telecommunications gets ever cheaper, more employers are considering the feasibility of allowing certain members of staff to work from home. The advent of broadband is also a factor in that it has enabled faster and more reliable communication between home and office.

In addition, the UK Government continues to promote family-friendly working practices within organisations.

If you think home-working might work for your organisation, but need to be convinced or to convince someone, check out The benefits of home-working.