Richard Morris, CEO, IWG UK

School holidays signal stress for home-workers, research reveals

For many working parents the summer holidays can be a cause of stress instead of a time for rest and relaxation. With children no longer occupied at school, many parents choose to work from home to juggle both work and childcare, but productivity can suffer with family, pets and noisy household appliances found to be the main distractions for home workers.

The 2019 Global Workspace Survey, conducted by leading flexible workspace provider, IWG, has found that interruptions from children or other family members is the number one obstacle being faced by professionals who take advantage of home working.

The study of over 2,000 respondents from the UK found that 65% are distracted by family demanding attention when they work from home. The second most common complaint from home workers is having professional calls interrupted by children, family and pets (49%).

The top 5 hindrances of home-workers:

  1. Children or family demanding attention (65%)
  2. Children, family and pets disturbing work telephone calls (49%)
  3. Slow or unreliable internet connection (45%)
  4. Difficulties accessing office equipment (printer, fax, photocopier) (36%)
  5. Temptation to keep the television on as ‘company’ (34%)

Increasingly, businesses are providing their employees with the option to decide where, when and how they would like to work and there are benefits on both sides of the exchange. Flexibility not only makes workers happier and healthier, but it can also have a direct impact on the health of a business, with 82% of organisations reporting a significant increase in the productivity of their workforce as a result.

Location is a key factor in determining how easily workers can pivot between work and home life – particularly for parents in the summer holidays. According to IWG, a rise in flexible working could save individuals nationwide 115 hours of commuting time per annum – the equivalent to 14 million days spent at work. With nearly half of Brits (41%) citing commuting as the worst part of their day, working closer to home is an increasingly favoured option.

Flexible workspaces can provide a more balanced alternative to the home office when juggling work and personal commitments. A new base that is in tune with your working style can be a viable alternative to working from home or in the office. Workers can enjoy the head space and facilities of a professional environment, closer to home, allowing them to work productively and balance their childcare needs over the summer holidays.

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