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Remote working: How have attitudes changed in recent years?

Computer_keyboardBack in the day, when technology was comparatively limited, people had no choice but to work in the office, even if they had family commitments or issues in getting to and from work to contend with. Fortunately, with technology advancing rapidly, working away from the office has become far simpler. All that’s really needed is a smartphone, basic laptop and reliable internet connection.

While working from home is seen as pretty easy to do these days, attitudes to remote working are still mixed from businesses. A survey conducted by PowWowNow amongst businesses including start-ups found that 38% of their employers didn’t allow remote working. A similar survey taken four years ago revealed that 31% of companies felt this way, so what has changed over this period?

Lack of clarity

In some parts of the UK, many workers surveyed weren’t clear on how their bosses felt about working from home. For example, 15.68% of people in South East England didn’t know if remote working was allowed, although the national consensus revealed that remote working is seen as largely beneficial – the UK average showed that 46% said it was useful for cutting office costs. The survey found that 62% of respondents nationwide said that, for remote working to be successful, effective communication is a must. Furthermore, 59% said that technology was of great importance. Another bugbear of those who want to work away from the office is travel; the average weekly spend on travel to and from meetings stands at £53, with Londoners paying around £11 more than that.

Leading by example

Something that can be said in favour of remote working is how it can enable flexible working patterns. The survey found that 76% of those polled said that members of their management team were available for contact within their flexible working hours. Without remote working, this wouldn’t be possible. Businesses may become more receptive if, for example, there was one communication tool that incorporated the best of email, instant messaging and phone calls. Should this become a reality, then remote working could, one day, become the norm for businesses all over the world.

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