In current times there is an undeniable growing trend towards working from home. Cutting overheads on office space by outsourcing to home based freelancers is becoming increasingly commonplace. London commercial property landlords could be forgiven for believing that this telecommuting trend will persist after the recession but at Find a LondonOffice we think otherwise.
Using home based workers does yield several advantages, the foremost one being cost efficiency, however other benefits include:
- Increased scope of potential employees, such as the disabled and those located further away.
- Potential productivity gains and lower commuting time.
- Increased motivation and lower sickness levels.
- Retention of working parents and those in other circumstances that would otherwise affect their ability to work.
- Potential to locate staff near to important clients.
I believe there is no long term danger to the London commercial property market because of the drawbacks:
- Management at all levels is more difficult, especially performance monitoring where appropriate.
- Increased costs on providing equipment and meeting regulations such as health and safety at multiple locations.
- A risk of deterioration in skills, motivation and work quality.
- Information security and data protection issues, especially where cloud computing is involved.
- Communication problems and a sense of isolation amongst home workers, especially so due to the lack of social interaction that would take place at the office.
- Maintaining a team orientated focus can be more difficult due to this isolation.
- For some types of job, working at home is simply not possible.
The ideal choice of course depends on the company in question, however whether a company has a centralised structure or otherwise; the reality is that in most cases, having a central hub makes sense. It could be argued that the current trend comes more from a necessity to cut office costs than the view that home working is a superior option.
Splitting time between home working and time spent in the office can be a good compromise to reap the benefits of productive and happy workers that are well informed and able to attend meetings as well as lower office costs.
Talk to us if you need help in determining your office space requirements. We pride ourselves on our ability to understand the needs of a diverse array of businesses searching for London office space and can factor any style of work pattern into our advice.