Reality of home working

Workers dreaming of packing in their nine-to-five office job in favour of an "easy life" working from home underestimate what it takes to be a successful homeworker, according to a new survey.

Workers dreaming of packing in their nine-to-five office job in favour of an "easy life" working from home underestimate what it takes to be a successful homeworker, according to a new survey.

Research from Norwich Union explodes the myth that working from home makes for a cushy life. In fact, two in five homeworkers say they work more than eight hours a day and over three-quarters find themselves working at weekends.

The Homeworking Reality study reveals that the working week is longer than 45 hours for nearly half of all homeworkers. This compares to the UK average working week of just over 39 hours.

Nine out of 10 people working from home say they made the change for a more flexible lifestyle or to spend time with their family. But in reality the majority admit they work longer hours at home than their office counterparts.


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Despite these long hours, the nation's army of homeworkers say friends and family still think working from home means long lie-ins and endless daytime TV.

Almost two-thirds of homeworkers admit their friends and family assume working from home is an easy option. And instead of providing support, it seems homeworkers' friends and family members are the biggest hindrance to working from home – homeworkers say their top two distractions are personal visitors to their home during 'office hours' and friends calling for a gossip.

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While the traditional office environment has relaxed over the past decade, Norwich Union's research reveals things are even more casual at home. One in 10 homeworkers admit they spent the day conducting business in their pyjamas and over a third say they have conducted an important business call while cuddling a partner, child or pet.

Isabel Baumber, product development manager at Norwich Union, said: "General perceptions of working from home are a long way off reality. With more people turning to homeworking to address their work-life balance it is essential that they understand it's not an easy option."

"Our research also shows that many homeworkers may not have adequate insurance for their business. It's essential that those working from home check whether they are covered, particularly if they employ others or have clients visiting their homes," she added.

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