Abstracts: June 9th, 2008

This survey of UK employers from the Charted Institute of Personnel and Development finds that more than two thirds of employers never or occasionally accept employee requests to work from home. 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. The report describes how the slow increase in the take-up of home-working defies the evidence.

Home working has become more attractive to employees with the rising costs of commuting, but the attitude of many employers is fostering a culture of presenteeism.

Top reasons given by organisations surveyed for working from home are to increase organisational flexibility, 68 Per cent, to retain workforce and widen the talent pool, 55 per cent and to meet employee demand, 54 per cent.

Among organisations that offer working from home, over half of employers say they occasionally accept requests for fixed arrangements to work from home, and a quarter say they frequently accept such requests. Home working requests are accepted more regularly in the public sector than the private sector. Thirty-five percent of public sector organisations frequently accept requests, compared to 21 per cent of private sector organisations. Only a tenth of employers say they never accept these requests.

Flexible working arrangements for parents with young children are the most popular benefits that organisations surveyed offer. The arrangements offered vary between the different sectors with over four in five employers citing job sharing as the most offered benefit in the public sector, whereas in the private and voluntary sectors “working from home” is the most offered arrangement .

The survey report isavailable from CIPD. http://www.cipd.co.uk