Directors home in on flexible working

Almost all company directors work from home on a regular basis and more than 75% have flexible working policies in their organisations, according to a survey of 800 members of the Institute of Directors (IoD).

Two-thirds of directors said that working from home increased their productivity and 84% said they had a dedicated office or study area at home.

Almost a third said their main reason for working from home was a long commute to the office, but half of those surveyed lived within 20 miles of their workplace.

However, the survey also identified the issues of trust and technology as potential barriers to flexible working.

More than 60% of homeworkers said the corporate culture discouraged flexible working and 40% said they were unable to access their company’s corporate network or phone directory at home. Almost a third said they would like more communication with colleagues while working from home.

Stuart Logan, HR director for communications firm Avaya, which commissioned the research, said: “A definite challenge still exists in the UK as flexible working can only be delivered and flourish in an environment of trust, with agreed outcomes and performance measures.

“To maximise productivity, employees needed to be able to recreate the office environment when working from home,” he added.

There are about 3.1m homeworkers in the UK – about 11% of the workforce, according to official government figures.

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