Working from Home: Is it all it’s cracked up to be?

TORONTO – (November 14) – The thought of working from home conjures up an image of working in a carefree setting; immune from the daily stresses of rushed mornings; long commutes; and workplace distractions. However, at a time when having the freedom to work from home is commonplace, a new Regus survey finds that almost half of Canadian professionals (49%) admit they actually encounter difficulties concentrating when working from the home office.

Regus, the world’s largest provider of flexible workspaces, canvassed the opinions of business professionals across Canada and exposed the top productivity-drainers when working from home.

The five main distractions include:

1. Children and family wanting attention (60%)

2. Inability to access proper office equipment (28%)

3. The desire to complete household chores (26%)

4. The temptation to keep TV on as ‘company’ (24%)

5. Lack of proper work space (18%)

With advancements in mobile technology, the ideal solution for companies looking to reduce real estate costs is to allow a number of their employees to work from home. However, this recent survey reveals that workers at home are up against a new set of unique diversions.

“Working from home gives people more flexibility and control over how and when they work. And, that’s a good thing,” said Wes Lenci, Vice President, Regus Canada. “But employers need to be conscious of the challenges these remote workers face, and be ready to provide them with alternate workplace options so employees can continue to be engaged, connected and motivated.”

Lenci suggests home workers consider the following guidelines to improve the work-at-home experience:

· Create Parameters. Set rules with family and friends, and let them know when you are not available. Most importantly, ensure they are aware of any scheduled conference calls in order to limit any background noises or interruptions, so clients don’t feel you’re working in an unprofessional environment.

· Establish a routine. Set blocks of time for work and stick to the schedule. Do not turn on the television during your set working hours, and laundry can wait until after 5 p.m.

· Keep lines of communication open: Maintaining regular contact with colleagues and managers will ensure status of projects and deadlines are understood by all. This means it will keep you motivated to stay ahead while working from home.

· Stop in at a local flexible workspace provider. Need to print off a large coloured document or do you need to work from a desk and not the couch? Leave your home office and drop in to a flexible workspace provider like Regus. The common areas are also a great place to connect and network with other professionals to avoid the feelings of isolation that also come with working from home.

About the Survey

The polling data is the result of Regus’ latest Business Confidence Index – a bi-annual global survey of 24,000 professionals in 92 countries. The Canadian stats are based on the results from 533 business professionals.