Not in front of the children!

And that’snot the only thing getting in the way: bad posture as a result of working atmakeshift home offices (affecting almost a third of workers) could lead toserious health problems later on. Poor internet connections, no access tooffice equipment and even having to deal with pets are also said to bedisrupting home-workers’ productivity levels.

These aresome of the key findings of a global survey by Regus, the world’s largestprovider of flexible workplaces, based on interviews with more than 24,000business-people from over 90 countries.

“Working from home can clearly affect yourconcentration and productivity,” says Mr. Madhusudan Thakur, Regional Vice-President, South Asia, Regus. “Employees are naturally keen to benefitfrom flexible working practices, so they can avoid lengthy commutes, and workthe hours that suit them, in order to improve their work-life balance. Butthese findings suggest that a professional environment close to home ispreferable to actual home-working, so as to avoid strain on families, toproject a professional image, and to improve overall productivity.”

Key Findings andStatistics:

  • For Indian workers the three biggest issues when working from home are:
    • Children or family demanding attention (68%)
    • Children, family or pets disturbing work telephone calls (51%)
    • Household noises such as the bell ringing or the washing machine spinning (45%)
  • There are also important health related issues; 28% complain of bad posture at home due to their unsuitable home office arrangements – good posture is critical to ensuring that workers do not suffer repetitive strain injury and permanent damage
  • Lack of a proper work surface is also a problem for a third (32%) of respondents
  • Altogether, 15 different issues were identified as being obstacles to productively working from home

Mr. Madhusudan Thakur continues:Working from home is becoming increasingly popularbut as more people experience itmany are also discovering the downsides.Personal life needs to adapt to the professional activities thatare taking place and that’s notalways easy. In addition to our survey findings, there are reports ofhome-workers feeling lonely, alienated [1] andcut off from colleagues. It seems that office ‘face-time’ also plays animportant role in helping workers secure promotions, with employees that workfrom home being overlooked even in firms that actively encourage staff to workfrom home at least occasionally.[2]

“But moreworrying still is the fact that almost a third of our respondents complain theirposture is affected by improvised own office arrangements in the home. Badposture can result in serious health problems such as repetitive strain injuryfor the individual – and lost time and productivity for the employer. Thesurvey highlights that home-working may not provide a suitable professionalenvironment and may well damage your health.”

Research Methodology:

Over 24,000 business respondents from over 90countries were interviewed during September 2012 and 508 respondents from India.These were sourced from Regus’ global contacts database of over 1 millionbusiness-people worldwide which is highly representative of senior managers andowners in business across the globe. Respondents were asked which they feltwere the biggest challenges to productivity when working from the home. Thesurvey was managed and administered by the independent organisation, MindMetre,

[1]TheWashington Post, An isolation solution: How to conquer the most common peril ofworking at home, 26th July 2012

[2] MIT Sloan Management review,Why showing your face at work matters, 19th June 2012