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Technology will facilitate working from home, survey finds

The ever-improving availability of technology looks set to provide an increasing number of people with the option to work from home.
This is according to a recent survey conducted by recruitment firm Office Angels, which found that 71 per cent of people surveyed believe that there will be a rise in the number of home workers by 2036.
However, this could have a range of knock-on effects. For example, 54 per cent of those questioned believed that they may never meet other members of their team, while 39 per cent reckon that employees are equally unlikely to meet their bosses before they start work.
While this will obviously increase the flexibility on offer for employees, there is a risk that it will have a negative impact on the working environment, with 43 per cent of employers questioned stating that they are worried about a lack of engagement and loyalty if people only ever work from home.
David Clubb, MD of Office Angles, commented: “Remote working can be a great tool for a business, offering a flexible working model which benefits its employees and allows access to a greater pool of talent, as location is less of an issue.
“However, it's essential that companies continue to support their staff and do not allow them to feel abandoned.”

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People working from home urged to maintain discipline

Maintaining a good level of discipline could be the key to working from home on a successful basis, it has been suggested.

Writing for Fast Company, Kevin Purdy noted that while it may not initially seem important to carry out the old routine that was required for working in an office, many home workers come to regret not keeping up these things in the long-run.
Dressing respectively, for example, and shaving or applying make-up, may all seem like unnecessary time-wasters when you first start to work from home. But a few months in, when you're lazing on the couch in your underwear at midday and struggling to get that report finished while watching the television, you may well come to regret your lack of personal discipline.
Mr Purdy also noted the social change that comes from not working out of an office. There is a tendency to rely heavily on social networking sites to replace the chat that previously took place between colleagues.
However, many home workers speak highly of their increased productivity when working from home thanks to the lack of distractions, so remember this once you're settled into a routine and try to keep Facebook and Twitter time to a minimum.

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Rail fare rise could prompt more people to work from home

An increasing number of people could start to work from home after the latest hike in rail fares, it has been suggested.
There was an average fare rise of 5.9 per cent announced at the end of 2011, which fell just below the cap of six per cent introduced by the chancellor George Osborne. This means that an average annual season ticket now swallows up around eight per cent of the median UK salary at £2,028.
According to the Hay Group's latest PayNet UK Salary Tracker, in some cases commuters will end up spending up to 21 per cent of their annual salary on their commute.
Stuart McMillan, reward information consultant at the group, suggested that employers may start to be more open to alternative options for their employees in light of the expense.
He remarked: “Employers need to be aware of this when considering reward packages, and consider benefits such as interest free season ticket loans and greater flexibility to work from home.”
As expected, the survey revealed that London commuters spend the largest proportion of their salary on commuting at 17 per cent for operative level workers, rising to 20 per cent for journeys over 50 minutes.

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