British employers could save up to £34 billion from home working, says Vodafone

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Employers could save up to £34 billion by freeing up desk space and reducing overhead costs with employees working from home, mobile phone giant Vodafone has said today.

In a survey of 500 key decision makers conducted by YouGov in tandem with Vodafone it found that despite the average office desk costing thousands of pounds a year, more than one in three managers have not considered allowing staff to work from home.

Employers estimated that introducing flexible working could mean getting rid of, on average, 46 desks each. This could generate billions in savings, but managers vastly underestimate the potential cost benefits, the research claimed.

Vodafone insists that working from home encourages 'smarter', more cost-effective ways of working.

The survey also revealed the majority of businesses measured success "by results", but only one in five thought they could reduce desk space, with a quarter worried it would lead to workers abusing the system.

Jeroen Hoencamp, enterprise director at Vodafone UK, said British firms were "blinkered" about how best to implement flexible working: "We need to get Britain working smarter and thinking about different ways of working.

"A potential saving of up to £34 billion is staggering and this research reveals businesses are underestimating the savings they can make through reducing the number of desks they have."

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