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Global research reveals the downside to working from home

For many parents, working from home can be a cause of stress instead of a time of rest. With children in the Northern hemisphere no longer occupied at school, for example, many parents choose to work from home to juggle both work and childcare. In South Africa, the economic climate and the decrease in traditional family support, has meant many workers have no choice but to work from home when a child is sick. But productivity suffers with family, pets and noisy household appliances found to be the main reason home-working is not all it's made out to be.
© Dinis Tolipov – 123RF.com

The 2019 Global Workspace Survey, conducted by 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 15,000 respondents from 80 countries around the world found that over half (62%) 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 (45%).

The top 5 hindrances of home-workers:
  1. Children or family demanding attention (62%)
  2. Children, family and pets disturbing work telephone calls (45%)
  3. Difficulties accessing office equipment (printer, fax, photocopier) (43%)
  4. Household noises such as bell ringing, washing machine, dishwasher (32%)
  5. Pets demanding attention (25%)
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 85% 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. Working parents can cut their commute times with flexible working offices. With 40% of people worldwide seeing the daily commute 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 headspace and facilities of a professional environment, closer to home, allowing them to work productively and balance their personal commitments.
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