PHUKET: While working from home might seem like a practical option for workers in Thailand wanting to cut commutes and spend more time on their personal lives, the reality is somewhat different.
According to a survey conducted by Regus, the world’s largest provider of flexible workplaces, six in ten respondents who work from home in Thailand revealed that they’re regularly put off by their kids or family demanding attention.
And that’s not the only thing getting in the way: bad posture as a result of working at makeshift home offices – affecting a fifth of workers – could lead to serious health problems later on. Poor internet connections, no access to office equipment and even having to deal with pets are also said to be disrupting home-workers’ productivity levels.
These are some of the key findings of a global survey by Regus, which was based on interviews with more than 24,000 business-people from over 90 countries.
“Working from home can clearly affect your concentration and productivity,” says Filippo Sarti, Regus Asia CEO. “Employees are naturally keen to benefit from flexible working practices, so they can avoid lengthy commutes, and work the hours that suit them in order to improve their work-life balance.
“But these findings suggest that a professional environment close to home is preferable to actual home-working, so as to avoid strain on families, to project a professional image, and to improve overall productivity.”
The survey found that the three biggest issues for home-workers in Thailand are: children or family demanding attention (62%); difficulties accessing office equipment (48%) and not having access to sensitive company documents (45%).
There are also important health related issues; 19% of respondents complain of bad posture at home due to their unsuitable home office arrangements – good posture is critical to ensuring that workers do not suffer repetitive strain injury and permanent damage.
The lack of a proper work surface was also identified as a problem for more than a third of respondents (38%).
Altogether, there was a total of 15 different issues identified as obstacles to productively working from home.
Sarti continues: “Working from home is becoming increasingly popular but as more people experience it, many are also discovering the downsides. Personal life needs to adapt to the professional activities that are taking place and that’s not always easy.
“In addition to our survey findings, there are reports of home-workers feeling lonely, alienated and cut off from colleagues. It seems that office ‘face-time’ also plays an important role in helping workers secure promotions, with employees that work from home being overlooked even in firms that actively encourage staff to work from home at least occasionally.
“But more worrying still is the fact that one in five of our respondents complain that their posture is affected by improvised own office arrangements in the home. Bad posture can result in serious health problems such as repetitive strain injury for the individual – and lost time and productivity for the employer. The survey highlights that home-working may not provide a suitable professional environment and may well damage your health.”
— Regus Press Centre
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