National Work Life Week: Working near to where you live pays off

Working near to where you live, as opposed to setting aside space to work at home, has been recognised as delivering the greatest wellbeing benefits to workers, research finds.

Regus surveyed its customer base during National Work Life Week to establish views on worker wellbeing and the advantages of flexible working patterns. The results outline the benefits to health and happiness of working locally, and the potential downfalls of a homeworking existence.

Some 70 per cent of UK professionals believe that working closer to home improves health.

In terms of the reasons why, 69 per cent of respondents believe working closer to home means more business people are likely to hit the gym, and 81 per cent feel that working from home enables professionals to spend more time on outside interests and hobbies.

The temptation when offered the flexible work option may be to set up at home. But feedback from UK professionals suggests this scenario is not as advantageous when it comes to personal wellbeing; 87 per cent of respondents suggest that co-working helps to curb the loneliness of homeworkers.

Richard Morris, UK CEO of Regus says that people sometimes equate flexible working with working from home but the home environment can introduce many unforeseen challenges to the working day.

‘The routine of home life can interrupt business tasks and, for many, a lack of suitable space may result in a compromise when it comes to ergonomics and positioning correctly to enable a productive day’s work. Our survey also highlights the issue of isolation and loneliness.

Conversely, drop-in, flexible workspaces that are situated close to home are recognised as beneficial to worker health and happiness, Morris acknowledges.

‘These spaces are typically professionally designed to couple productive working areas with break-out zones and areas for sharing ideas and inspiration. Professionals using this space are able to remain motivated and productive whilst avoiding the expensive and draining commutes that continue to affect so many business people.

‘Business decision makers are rapidly losing faith with the notion of the fixed-desk, fixed-hours approach that has dominated working life for decades. Now, the conversation is moving to how to provide the best environment for workers, so that they in turn might provide their best work for you.’

Further reading on work-life balance

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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