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Annie Hayes



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Bosses turn down two-thirds of home-working requests


More than two thirds of employers never or only occasionally accept employee requests to work from home.

These are the findings of the latest quarterly Labour Market Outlook (LMO) survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and KPMG.

This is despite the fact that, of the employers who offer home working, only 8% believe home workers are less productive than their office-bound colleagues, while 30% say they are more productive. The remainder of employers say home working makes no difference to productivity.

A fifth of organisations say that they are more likely to accept requests from managers or professionals.

Gerwyn Davies, policy adviser at the CIPD, said: “The slow increase in the take-up of home working defies the evidence. While the cost of home working has gone down, the cost of commuting has shot up. While a substantial majority of employers report having recruitment difficulties, a substantial minority accept requests from their workers to work from home. Inflexible approaches to home working risk restricting the competitiveness and growth of UK organisations if employer and managerial mindsets do not change.”

The report finds that home working requests are accepted more regularly in the public sector (35%) than the private sector (21%). Two-thirds of employers surveyed say their organisations help with the costs associated with home working.

Looking to the future, over half say that the level of home working at their organisations will stay the same. Just over a quarter say it will increase, with only 2% believing it will decrease.

The news comes on the back of National Work from Home Day, held on 15 May 2008, in which an estimated 5 million workers across the UK realised the benefits of working from home.

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Annie Hayes


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