Home workers put in extra hours, struggling with work/life balance

HR Editorial , 08 Sep 2011


The majority (81%) of people who work from home are putting in extra hours on weekends and in the evenings, according to a survey of 1,000 respondents by business group buying site, SMEDiscounts.

Those surveyed stated the reason for this was that having their working environment at home brings means they automatically put in extra time out of traditional office hours.

This is backed by 56% of home workers who claim they find it difficult to separate their home lives from their working lives. The survey also revealed that the ideal balance for more than half (51%) those questioned would be to split working time equally between home and an office environment.

This was slightly higher for working parents, of which 55% said they would favour an equal split and 32% said they would ideally work from home full time. Only one-in-four home workers feel guilty if they take time out from their working days to do chores such as visiting the supermarket or cleaning the house, perhaps due to the long hours they claim to put in. And 85% disagree that working from home is less productive than working in an office.

Andries Smit, founder of SMEDiscounts, said: "As remote working becomes more common due to flexible working policies and an increase in freelancers and entrepreneurs, work life and home life are no longer separate. Many people who work from home are self-employed, and so in that sense it's not surprising they find themselves putting in extra hours."

The survey was carried out between 17 and 23 August using SMEDiscounts' database of more than 1,000 small businesses, freelancers and entrepreneurs.


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