Commuters using bus, train or cabs very morning faced major delays following a loss of all signalling in most of the cities.
Train services are expected to be cancelled, buses are delayed.
Travel disruption is one of the many reasons why there is a strong case for employers to shift towards flexible working for employees, specifically working from home.
But there are a whole host of other benefits to home working, particularly from a health and well being perspective. Below, we look at the seven reasons why home working is the future.
1. Reduction in commuting time:
Not only is commuting often stressful and unpleasant, it also take up time that could otherwise be spent working or doing something else productive.
Employees who can work from home will also spend less money on petrol or train fares, which may give them less of an incentive to ask for a salary boost to cover travel expenses.
2. More productivity:
Many people who work from home claim to be more productive because they’re not in a loud environment or distracted by co-workers.
In fact, according to a Canada Life survey, homeworkers rank their productivity as 7.7/10, compared with 6.5/10 for office workers.
A spokesperson for employment agency Reed said: “There are some obvious advantages of working from home that you’ve probably heard before – avoid the nightmare commute, work in your PJs – but the benefits go beyond that.
“Working from home can really help to increase your productivity, as the absence of office distractions makes it easier to keep your head down and actually get your work done.”
3. Fewer sick days:
The survey also found, unsurprisingly, that home workers took fewer days off sick than those based in the office.
Employees working in an office took on average 3.1 days of sick leave last year, whilst homeworkers only took 1.8 sick days, Canada Life found.
That’s because employees who have a cold or are mildly sick can still get work done at home, while office workers are more inclined to take the entire day off to avoid leaving the comfort of their home.
In addition, the better work-life balance means workers are less likely to get ill in the first place because their stress levels are typically lower.
4. Improved employee retention:
As well as employees generally being happier when they work from home – which means they are less likely to quit – parents with childcare responsibilities are also more likely to continue working for the company if they can work from home, as it gives them greater flexibility.
Plus, because working from home is seen as such as an attractive work perk, employees who have experienced it are less likely to leave for a firm that doesn’t offer flexible working.
Mariano Mamertino, EMEA economist at global job site Indeed, said: “Flexibility is high up the wishlist for employees of all ages – from new parents who need to juggle work with childcare, to older workers.
“But younger workers in particular see it as essential. Digital natives often expect to be able to harness the flexibility that technology provides, to enable them to work whenever and wherever suits them.”
5. Increased talent pool:
By having employees who work from home, companies can hire the best talent regardless of who or where they are.
It means employers can work with people who don’t live in the UK, or who have a disability so may not be able to travel to an office.
One of the recruitment agency said: “From the employer’s perspective, offering flexible working is a powerful way to access wider pools of talent – whether that’s Britain’s sizeable older workforce, or millennials who place greater emphasis on work-life balance than previous generations.”
6. Time to go to appointments:
Working from home allows workers to go to necessary appointments – the doctor’s, dentist or opticians – during their lunch break, which they may not have time for if they’re office based.
It also means employees can exercise or do stretches while at home, which they may feel embarrassed about doing at work – but is important for preventing back or joint problems which can come about as a result of a 9-to-5 job.
All this means improved health for employees, which in turn means employers are less likely to lose workers to sick or stress leave.
7. Less money spent on office space
If employees work from home, companies can spend less money on office space, technology and supplies. By staggering employees’ work-from-home days and hot-desking, firms can massively save on office space, which can cost thousands of pounds a month and be a major drain on a company’s budget.