Home working: not such a good deal
Running a home office costs more in Asia than in the West. Less than half of Hong Kong Respondents have a home office
Hong Kong, 14 May 2015 – More than half of workers globally have a home office, but having a fully equipped professional space at home is much rarer and businesses hardly ever foot the bill. In fact, home office is more common in the West than in the East. These are the results of latest research by global workplace provider Regus surveying over 44,000 senior business people across more than 100 countries, including 365 respondents from Hong Kong, that found 61% of workers globally have a home office but only 51% say it is a professional space. While in Hong Kong, only 43.8% respondents have a home office. The percentage is even lower in Taiwan, which only 39.7% respondents have a home office.
Below are the results from selected markets about whether the respondents have a home office:
(Source: Regus, 2014)
A fifth also report that it would take a whole monthly salary for them to fit out a professional working space within their home and only around a third (34%) report that their firm has contributed to kitting out their home office, making a neat little saving for firms that encourage home working.
Given that respondents on average report that running cost for a home office are US$3,468 a year, it would seem that businesses are making a neat little saving. Half of workers in fact believe that helping workers create a professional workspace in their own homes can save businesses money in the long run. However, in Asia, it is more costly to run a home office than in the West. In Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea, the yearly average cost of running a home office are ranging from approximately US$700 to US$1,400 more than the global average of US$3,468.
Below are the yearly average running cost for a home office in selected markets:
(Source: Regus, 2014)
There is also a hidden risk, as in order to achieve this small saving, businesses could be incurring in all sorts of higher expenses by not regulating the environment their staff works from. 79% of respondents confirm that companies that encourage their employees to work from home are not aware that they must ensure health and safety standards are implemented and 77% report that they do not take out the appropriate insurance cover on this home workspace.
Other key findings show that:
- One in ten respondents (12%) globally report that to fully kit out a home office would cost even more than a full monthly salary;
- 79% of respondents confirm that most companies that encourage their employees to work from home do not cover all the costs of creating and maintaining that workspace;
- Almost half (49%) of workers globally think that most companies that encourage their employees to work from home are simply trying to transfer the cost of having workspace onto the employee.
“The financial benefits of remote working for both staff and employer are clear, yet many businesses are currently missing out on a valuable opportunity by failing to fully commit. On the one hand there is a clear business advantage to ensuring staff are able to work effectively and safely when away from the office, on the other, the figures suggest that too many firms risk incurring higher expenses by not regulating remote work environments,” said Michael Ormiston, Country Manager, Regus Hong Kong.
“A small investment in offering workers with access to fully equipped workspaces closer to home could help firms provide a fully compliant environment for flexible workers, saving staff money too,” he said.
Regus is the global workplace provider.
Its network of more than 2,300 locations in 850 cities and 104 countries provides convenient, high-quality, fully serviced spaces for people to work, whether for a few minutes or a few years. Companies like Google, Toshiba and GlaxoSmithKline choose Regus so that they can work flexibly and make their businesses more successful.
The key to flexible working is convenience and so Regus is opening wherever its 2.1 million members want support - city centres, suburban districts, shopping centres and retail outlets, railway stations, motorway service stations and even community centres.
Founded in Brussels, Belgium, in 1989, Regus is based in Luxembourg and listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, please visit: www.regus.com