85% of those surveyed had some improvement in the amount of work they get done.

Working at home is more productive than working in the office

The Telework Association productivity survey shows that people in the UK working at home produce substantially more than when they work in an office. 85% of those surveyed had some improvement in the amount of work they get done. A quarter of those who were able to measure their output reckoned to have an increase greater than 50% and almost all were more productive. Of the total only 5% thought they were less productive.

There are a number of reasons for this increased productivity, including:

• Saving commuting time

• Able to fit work around other commitments

• Better able to concentrate

• Fewer interruptions

• Less stressed

Fewer interruptions was the main reason given by nearly a fifth of respondents (18.7%). The ability to fit their work in with their other commitments was top for about 16%. Saving time on commuting was given as the main reason by 15% and this is because at least some of the time saved is then devoted to work.

Although it doesn't appear at the top of the list, a third of respondents cited loyalty and repayment of trust as one reason for their improved productivity.

This research shows that home working is not just a benefit to carers and parents in search of a better work life balance. As well as saving costs on real estate and travel, teleworking is an effective way of getting results. It is a considerable benefit to businesses as they reap the rewards of productivity which contribute significantly to the bottom line. Of course reduced commuting also means less congestion and pollution, thus providing environmental benefits too.

These results seem to argue against the government's focus on flexible working as an employee right and instead suggest it should be more widely recognised as a benefit to businesses.

The report is based on the results of an online survey of 350 people during the second half of 2009, who work at home. They were asked to compare their output at home to working in the office. It covers people who work occasionally at home as well as those who do so full time. It includes people from a cross section of organisations from large businesses to individuals who are self-employed. It also includes respondents from both public and private sector.read more