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With the introduction of better Internet communications, more and more people are now working from home rather than travelling to the office each day.
Statistics from 2005 show that 3.1 million people in the UK are regular home-based workers. Of these 2.4 million are teleworkers - people who work with computers and telecommunications to work at or from home.
The UK National Statistics agency confirms that there is no levelling off in the increase of home-based work.
Growth in homeworking and teleworking: millions and % of UK workforce: UK National Statistics Agency 2.4 (8%) 1.5 (5%) 0.9 (4%) Teleworkers 3.1 (11%) 2.6 (10%) 2.3 (9%) Homeworkers 2005 2001 1997
Working hours will become a little more flexible. This doesn’t mean they can stay in bed until 2 in the afternoon, but certainly it could be possible to alter the times that they work depending on the job they do. This means that they can fit work around family, holidays and other commitments.
Savings on travel costs, childcare, smart work clothes.
Some people even argue that people working from home will do more work because they are surrounded in their own personal environment, which will make them happier, and therefore work harder. It's possible, but let's be honest would you do more or less work?
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) are an independent body that regulates the financial services industry in the UK.
The FSA allows its employees to work from home occasionally, regularly and full-time.
All applications for home working will be systematically considered and will be approved at the line manager's discretion, taking into account the individual's circumstances and the needs of the organisation.
Home working will be permitted usually only to a maximum of 3 days per week or up to a maximum of 60 percent working time.
Reporting and out of Office procedures for those working at home
If employees are allowed to work from home they should be contactable during the agreed working day. They must clearly indicate their "Out of Office" contact details on their FSA Outlook before leaving the office and if possible their FSA telephone number should be diverted to a mobile or landline number on home working days. If there are special or urgent meetings at the office then they should try to make themselves available.
Employees will need to determine in advance with their line manager that they have the necessary equipment at home to carry out the work agreed. Employees may be able to borrow/use a FSA laptop with VPN (virtual private network) remote access if needed providing there is availability, but all other equipment required will be the responsibility of the employee.
The FSA has a responsibility to ensure as far as it is reasonably practicable the health, safety and welfare of employees, wherever they work. Employees working at home have the same duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 as all other employees.
The FSA is required to undertake a risk assessment of employees' activities and working environment when working on a full-time or regular basis at home.
Any home working agreement will be subject to a six month trial period and will be reviewed at the end of that period.
Home working arrangements can be withdrawn at anytime if, in the opinion of the relevant line management, the effective and efficient operation of the team, department, and/or division is compromised, and/or:
the role changes
the ability of the wider FSA to fulfil its objectives is compromised
the performance of a home worker is unsatisfactory
the benefit is being abused
Withdrawal of a home working arrangement will be done in consultation with the employee and reasonable notice will be given, just as with any other proposed alteration to terms of employment.
Virtually all workers with clerical or management responsibilities are involved at some point in being based in an office environment. They will usually be working at a desktop machine which is connected to a LAN and possibly a WAN. Office workers will need to have access to the same sort of equipment that remote workers do.