Over the past five years or so, an increasing number of companies have begun offering work-from-home opportunities or have instituted policies that allow employees to telecommute a few days each month. It's part of a larger focus on providing a great work-life balance. As employers look for ways to make it easier for their staff to juggle the demands of work and home, they are finding that happier employees are much more productive and more willing to put in longer hours.
However, not every business is able to offer these perks. Some jobs just can't be done from home, and some employers have decided, for various reasons, that it's better for their business to have employees in one location. For workers, for whom working from home isn't an option, there has been an increase in “homing from work.”
It might sound silly, but it basically means that these employees are able to take care of their personal business while they are at work. With flexible lunch break arrangements, they can run errands, attend their childrens' school functions as needed and still be able to complete their work. Just as the Internet has made it possible for people to work at home, it has allowed employees to pay bills, check up on their families and tend to other personal obligations from their office.
A recent study showed that almost 93% of employees said that they are taking care of personal and family needs during their workday and almost half of those people said that they left their office during the day to take care of personal errands like dropping off dry cleaning, getting a manicure or going to the bank.
This new flexibility has certainly changed the face of the American office. In fact, it's a large contributor to the 11% increase in the number of people who say that they are happy with their work-life balance, which is a huge jump considering that a similar survey found a 30% increase in employees who work more than nine hours a day.
Homing from work is an interesting concept, and one that certainly isn't new. Workers have always found new and creative ways to take care of their family obligations while still doing their jobs. The big difference is that now employers have begun to see that having happy employees makes a huge impact on their bottom line.
Do you home from work? Does your employer support it? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.
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