FindaProperty.com research highlights that purchasers are increasingly taking into consideration the option to work from home when they choose a property. A recent survey of FindaProperty.com registered users, undertaken to coincide with Work Wise UK’s National Work from Home Day on Friday 15th May, demonstrated that 36% of respondents spent some of their working lives based at home. The findings are backed up by Work Wise research, which shows that one in eight employees (12.2%) are now working from home on a permanent basis. The research estimates that there are now 3.47 million home workers, an increase of 600,000 people over the past decade.
The results of the FindaProperty.com survey demonstrated that 65% of respondents had taken having a potential work space into consideration when looking for their new home. The most popular areas of the house for homeworkers to be based were a study (24%) or an area in the main living space dedicated to work (24%). A further 15% of respondents worked from a designated area of their main bedroom, whilst 11% worked from a spare bedroom.
The survey also showed that the days of setting up a business from the kitchen table were not over, with 2% of respondents frequently working in the kitchen. Interestingly, the rise of wireless technology has brought increased flexibility, with 22% of homeworkers not basing themselves in a specific room, but instead choosing to work in different locations to suit their mood. By far the most important factor in creating a comfortable homeworking environment was installing the right technology, with 71% of people placing internet connectivity as the most important element.
The survey also found that 32% of respondents had made some changes to their property to enable them to work from home, with the majority (83%) spending less than £1,000 on alterations. However, these alterations were almost exclusively funded privately with 92% of people not receiving any financial assistance from their employer.
Michael O’Flynn, Content Editor of FindaProperty.com, comments: “Working from home has become increasingly popular over the past decade as technology has made it a more viable option and businesses have placed a greater emphasis on flexible working practices. As a result homebuyers are starting to weigh up options for homeworking when they choose their home, whether they are looking for a dedicated study for full-time homeworking or just an area in a bedroom for occasional use.”
FindaProperty.com’s survey demonstrated that 25% of respondents spent the majority of their professional week at home, with 10% of people working all five days from home. A further 26% of people regularly spent one to two days per week based at home, whilst 42% of people worked from home occasionally, typically once or twice per month.
People gave a variety of reasons for wanting to work from home, with 32% being attracted by flexible hours and 28% believing that the arrangement enabled them to increase their productivity. A further 15% thought the main benefit was not having to spend time commuting, whilst 6% liked being able to fit their work around child care commitments.
However, those questioned did feel that there were downsides to the homeworking experience. The biggest issue related to the segregation of their personal and professional lives, with 33% of people unable to switch off at 5:30pm and a further 18% of people feeling that their work area had too much impact on their home. The lack of human interaction was also an issue, with nearly a third of people (29%) feeling that they missed the camaraderie of their colleagues, whilst 10% felt out of the loop because they were not in the office.
Phil Flaxton, chief executive Work Wise UK, said: “More and more people are enjoying the benefits of working from home, ranging from cutting commuting stress and costs to freeing up social and family time. It is also environmentally friendly, helping to reduce the number of journeys and emissions, and decreases congestion on our public and road transport networks.”