Working from home is good for business as well as employees' health and quality of life, a staff survey by BT shows.
Caroline Waters, head of employment at BT, said more than 90 per cent of BT 's flexiworkers who responded to the survey said that productivity increased, they had more leisure time and it was easier to help around the home.
The report, Teleworking at BT - The environmental and social impacts of its work about scheme, by the University of Bradford and the UK Centre for Economic and Environmental Development, shows that teleworking also reduces absenteeism.
Seventy-eight per cent of teleworkers said they are now more productive and 22 per cent had worked from home during their last typical working month when they felt too ill to travel.
"BT has been offering flexiwork for years. The survey is a very good affirmation of what we knew," Waters said. "It gives people benefits, is good for business, good for society, and good for the local community."
Reasons workers gave for greater productivity included reduced disruption, reduced commuting time and stress, and greater flexibility about when and where to work.
Ten per cent of those surveyed said they would not be able to undertake their current job unless able to telework, including people with children, carers for ill or disabled people or those with special needs.
The survey shows that teleworking also promotes a better work-life balance - 73 per cent of respondents felt their work-life balance was good or very good, and 85 per cent of teleworkers felt that their quality of life was good or very good.
However, Waters said there are things to watch out for when offering teleworking. Some teleworkers feel isolated, while others find it hard to switch off from work. She said BT hopes to open the scheme up to more people.
By Quentin Reade
Key survey findings on teleworking
- 22 per cent of teleworkers said they had worked at home during their last working month when they felt too ill to travel to work
- 73 per cent felt their work-life balance was good or very good
- 74 per cent of new registrants say travel reduction was an important factor in their decision to telework
- 78 per cent of teleworkers considered themselves to be more productive