Working from home more common among older workers

Research has suggested that the majority of people working from home are older, with analysis suggesting that the over-55 age group are most likely to do so.
Conducted by the TUC, the study found that around one in five workers in this age range work from home on a regular basis. However, the trend to do so has been growing across the generations for the past decade: In 2011, around three million people worked from home but by the end of 2011 this had risen by around 25 per cent to 3.8 million.
The paper also found that different geographical areas have different flexible working trends. For example, around 16 per cent of workers in the South West regularly work from home, while just ten per cent of those in the North West do so.
Work Wise UK Chief Executive Phil Flaxton commented: “As the employment market emerges from the downward trend, the way in which people work will have changed significantly.
“Increasingly, it is becoming the norm for employees to work away from the office, with 'presenteeism' becoming a thing of the past. Managers habits and controls must change in order to maintain this momentum.”

Avoiding distraction when working from home

Working from home offers a huge number of benefits over being tied to a 9-to-5 office-bound job. Of these, freedom is perhaps the one of greatest value.

Changes to your schedule, a doctor's appointment, looking after your children or even taking the dog for a walk in the middle of the day… all of these things are simple everyday tasks that become an issue when they need to be built around a strict working schedule at a set location.

When you work from home, these things are not issues. In fact, some people find that it makes a nice break in the working day to sort out some household chores. But there is another side to this in that working from home greatly increases the number of potential distractions.

To help tackle this, we've built up a round up of motivational tactics from homeworkers to help you get a good day's work at home:

- Keep to a schedule and try to start and finish work around the same time each day. While it can be tempting to roll out of bed late, your business will suffer if your not putting in the hours during your most productive times of day.

- Plan breaks. These could be something like taking the dog for a walk, or watching the news with a cup of tea. Whatever you choose, try and get away from your desk to refresh your mind.

- Make a to do list. Write down everything that needs to be done at the start of the day and work your way methodically through each task. It can also be helpful to have a long-term task list to ensure you don't forget about anything – sites like can help with this.

- Establish a designated work space. This could be a room or an area if you're short on space; either way, let your family or house mates know that it is a working space and ask them to respect this by not disturbing you unnecessarily.

- Try and work somewhere with plenty of (preferably natural) light to help keep up positivity levels.

Stay hydrated. Studies have shown that our concentration levels dip noticeably when we don't drink enough fluids. Unfortunately, coffee doesn't count, so have a glass of water with your cuppa too.

- Close your internet browser when you're not actually using it for something work related. This should help limit 'browsing time'. If you want to read an article, schedule this in as a break.

- Consider wearing office clothes even if you're not planning on leaving the house that day. It's a bit of a cliché, but there is a lot of truth in the power of telling yourself to “dress for success”.

Are property developers designing with homeworkers in mind?

Working from home is becoming so popular that it appears some property developers have started to incorporate the idea into their property designs.

Recent research found that Hampshire is one of the UK's most popular counties when it comes to working from home and the county actually has around 25,000 home offices. With this in mind, Taylor Wimpey has built its latest set of houses in the region with extra space to incorporate a working area.

Sarah Pasco, regional sales and marketing director for Taylor Wimpey Southern Counties, explained: "We understand that working from home is becoming increasingly popular and as such many house hunters are looking for a spacious property which lends itself well to changing needs over time."

The firm's recent development, the Glaciers at Everest Park, offers town houses with open plan kitchen/dining rooms, a separate study and a varying number of bedrooms depending on how much space people require for their lifestyle and family.

While homeworkers often dream of having extra space to spread out and get to grips with their daily workload, those living in smaller properties needn't be put off by their lack of space. With a bit of clever thinking and negotiation, it is perfectly possible to run many types of home businesses from a one-bedroom flat or similar so long as the desire to succeed is there.

Homeworking set to contribute £8bn

People who work from home are set to contribute around £8 billion to the UK economy this year, according to recent research.

The poll, conducted by Shedworking for Asda, revealed that home-based businesses are showing strong levels of growth, despite the wider economic difficulties present in the country. In fact, the £8 billion figure is an increase of almost £2 billion from the same poll in 2010.

Furthermore, the majority of businesses were confident about their expansion prospects. Almost 79 pre cent expected to work from indefinitely, but many were also looking at expanding out of the home, with 13.5 per cent of those predicted turnover growth of 20 per cent or more.

Just five per cent of those questioned expected no growth or a decline in sales, while 35.1 per cent were looking at growth of between five and ten per cent.

Alex Crow, homeworking specialist with Asda, commented: “Many households are taking a go-it-alone approach to business and are reaping the rewards.

"The low cost of starting up a business means that many households are pursuing the entrepreneurial dream. With the value of the back garden economy reaching an amazing £8 billion, home-based businesses are now lending a whole new meaning to the term 'home economics'.”

Latest testimonial has just been received

We are writing to thank you ever so much for the wonderful log cabin, art studio.

This is a fantastic addition to our garden and a great space in which to work. Everyone who has seen it has loved the look, space and construction.

Jon and his team worked reliably, turning up just as specified, which is rare this day and age. Due to the great work ethic and pleasant manner we then asked for our garden to have a mini makeover, which is another great success.

From what i have seen i believe Jon to have a good sense of design and layout. All items in my studio such as the sink and the storage for my canvases have been selected and thoughtfully positioned. We are now in the process of furnishing this.

The taking down of the old building was managed all by Jon, making the whole process hassle free. This has  given us the needed extra living space, I only wish we had done it sooner.

I wouldn't hesitate in recommending Jon and his team. Great all round. Thanks to the lovely Dave too. 

The Cooper's, Fareham


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