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Homeworking blighted by ‘sweatshop’ conditions

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Cosy images of convenience, efficiency and relaxed environments are far from the homeworking reality according to latest research.

Infact the majority of homeworkers put up with cramped and uncomfortable conditions more similar to a 19th century sweatshop; according to Lexmark.

It is not surprising that only 44% are satisfied with their home office space with the news that 26% work at the kitchen or dining room table, 37% in their spare room while 10% are forced to hotdesk around the house using any space they can find.

Other revelations include:

  • 37% work in a room with no natural light

  • 48% have no permanent work space at home

  • 75% work in a cramped and cluttered space

  • 56% say they do not have enough space to work effectively

The myth of home working continues to abound, despite this reality with many believing it provides the following benefits:

  • Freedom and flexibility to work the hours you want – 70%

  • A more relaxed and comfortable working environment – 56%

  • Working in a quiet environment with few distractions – 51%

  • No one watching over you as you work – 41%

  • Increased productivity and efficiency – 30%

Technology was also found to hamper improved homeworking conditions. Only 8% were found to have wireless access at home, a figure which compares to 18% of remote workers in Belgium and Luxembourg with this technology in place.

Giovanni Giusti, Managing Director at Lexmark UK commented:

“The perception of the home office is that it offers more freedom and flexibility and is a modern and comfortable way to work.

“Our research shows the reality is that people are suffering the worst conditions: working in dark, cramped and uncomfortable spaces, forced to give up room to various pieces of office technology and strangled by miles of cables and wiring.”

It is estimated that some eight million people currently work from home in the UK. A 1,000 were surveyed.


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Annie Hayes

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