Family distractions disturb those who want to work at home
While working from home might sound like a popular and practical option for Thai workers wanting to cut commutes and spend more time on their personal lives, the reality is somewhat different with 6 in 10 saying they're regularly put off by their kids or family demanding attention.And that is not the only thing getting in the way: bad posture as a result of working at makeshift home offices (affecting a fifth of workers) could lead to serious health problems later on. Poor Internet connections, no access to office equipment and even having to deal with pets are also said to be disrupting home-workers' productivity levels.
These are some of the key findings of a global survey by Regus, the world's largest provider of flexible workplaces, based on interviews with more than 24,000 business people from more than 90 countries.
"Working from home can clearly affect your concentration and productivity," says Filippo Sarti, Regus Asia CEO. "Employees are naturally keen to benefit from flexible working practices, so they can avoid lengthy commutes, and work the hours that suit them, in order to improve their work-life balance. But these findings suggest that a professional environment close to home is preferable to actual home-working, so as to avoid strain on families, to project a professional image, and to improve overall productivity."
Altogether, 15 different issues were identified as obstacles to productively working from home. Top of the list is demand for attention from children or family (62 per cent), difficulties accessing office equipment (48 per cent) and no access to sensitive company documents (45 per cent).
"Working from home is becoming increasingly popular but as more people experience it many are also discovering the downsides. Personal life needs to adapt to the professional activities that are taking place and that's not always easy. In addition to our survey findings, there are reports of home-workers feeling lonely, alienated and cut off from colleagues. It seems that office 'face-time' also plays an important role in helping workers secure promotions, with employees that work from home being overlooked even in firms that actively encourage staff to work from home at least occasionally," Santi said.
"But more worrying still is the fact that one in five of our respondents complain that their posture is affected by improvised own office arrangements in the home. Bad posture can result in serious health problems such as repetitive strain injury for the individual - and lost time and productivity for the employer. The survey highlights that home-working may not provide a suitable professional environment and may well damage your health."
The respondents were interviewed in September 2012. These were sourced from Regus' global contacts database of over 1 million business people worldwide, representative of senior managers and owners in business across the globe. Respondents were asked what they felt as the biggest challenges to productivity when working from the home. The survey was managed and administered by the independent organisation, MindMetre.