Posted: 30 May, 2018 Category: General

In the age of the internet and options of remote access for workers, over 50% of office-based staff are unable to work from home. A recent study by an online security label manufacturer discovered that, although many people could easily work from home, the majority are unable to due to security fears from bosses. GDPR has meant that companies have reviewed policies and restricted where staff can work.

GDPR, general data protection regulation, is a law and regulation in the EU for individuals on data protection and privacy. Looking into security situations in the workplace, online security labelling company, Seareach, surveyed 2,000 office-based workers to ascertain whether or not they were able to work from home, and for those who weren’t able to, they asked what the restrictions were that stopped them from doing so. They found:

  • Staff not able or not allowed to work from home – 53%
  • Staff allowed to work from home – 21%
  • Staff able to work from home but with some restrictions – 17%
  • Staff able to work from home due to health reasons – 9%

The survey showed the majority of staff working in offices are not able to work from home, with just 21% being allowed the complete freedom to do so. The rest of the workers surveyed had the option to work from home, but with restrictions or were able to because their health meant they were given allowances not given to other staff.

To investigate further, Seareach asked those staff not able to work from home the reasons why they cited:

  • Security issues – 36%
  • Fairness – 24%
  • Lack of teamwork – 21%
  • Productivity – 11%
  • Perceived poor reflection – 8%

Security issues were the main concern for bosses when it comes to their staff working remotely. In addition to the changes coming into effect with GDPR, many places are looking to step up their security and one aspect of this looks like restricting working from home.

However, fairness is also a big factor. When pressed, some staff explained that although some employees could do their job from home, others couldn’t and bosses feared some staff would feel disgruntled if they had to come into work whilst their colleagues could work from the comfort of their own homes.

Speaking about the study, our owner, Stuart Jailler of Seareach commented:

“Thirty years ago, many businesses were excited to explore the prospects of working from home and allowing their staff levels of flexible working. It was predicted that many office-based staff would be working remotely now, either at home or out and about. With the advancements in technology, this is possible however, it seems like many businesses just aren’t wanting to let go of their staff and allow them to work outside of the office.”

He added:

“Security and fairness are valid reasons especially when it comes to the concerns of HR departments. For managers, productivity and lack of teamwork can cause issues; having a team who you are not working physically next to can be a challenge and ensuring the team is cohesive, when the only contact is by phone, email or instant messenger can be less than ideal. Our study shows we still have a long way to go with mastering working home, which is a shame as the benefits can be huge for workforces, the environment and also wages.”