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Only a small minority of employers contribute to homeworking costs

Only a minority of employers are contributing towards the cost of home workspaces, according to research from Regus.

A survey of more than 4,000 senior business people found that little more than a third of homeworkers received financial help from their firm in equipping their home office.

More than two in five workers thought most companies who encouraged their employees to work from home were just trying to save costs by shifting the burden on to them.

The research found that the average cost of running a home office was almost £2,000 a year. A quarter of respondents said it would take a month's salary to pay for a professional working space at home.

Set it all out first

Reduced overheads are one of the main benefits for employers of allowing staff to work from home, especially after initial implementation costs.

Once employers have decided whether homeworking is both desirable and practical, Acas suggests that employers develop a homeworking policy, setting out all the arrangements, including on costs and equipment.

Employers have a duty of care to their employees. With homeworking this should involve carrying out a risk assessment before approving work from home. If concerns are flagged up, the assessment should say who will make changes and who will pay for them.

It's also good practice for employers to set out what they will provide (for example, furniture, printer, paper, phone), and what employees will (heating and lighting, say).

The arrangement could also state who's paying for any installation, how costs can be claimed back, who the equipment belongs to, how it will be maintained, and whether it could be available for personal use.

Acas publications and services

Extensive advice for employers on homeworking is given in the Acas publications pdf icon Homeworking - a guide for employers and employees [272kb] and the pdf icon Advisory booklet - Flexible working and work-life balance [176kb].

Acas experts can visit your workplace and help you develop effective flexible-working policies; see Workshops, projects and business solutions or call the customer services team on 0300 123 1150 for details.

Acas also runs practical training courses on Flexible working and Work/life balance, including developing family-friendly policies in the workplace.

For free, impartial advice on any employment relations issue, call the Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100, or consult Helpline Online.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.


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