By August 1, 2014 Read More →

Is home working best for younger or older employees?

Is home working best for younger or older employees?Today’s sponsored post by McCarthy & Stone takes a look at the benefits of home working for those at different stages of their working lives:

A surprising 4.2 million people currently work from home in the UK. The benefits of working from home are acknowledged across all age groups but there are distinct differences between home working in your youth and when you’re older.

Family flexibility and financial necessity for younger workers
According to research published in The Daily Mail, British workers waste more than a year of their lives (10,634 hours) commuting to work – but it’s not only time that they lose to the process. Rising petrol costs and public transport fares mean that they can spend more than £50,000 on commutes over their working life.

News that the cost of living has outstripped earnings only exacerbates the situation. Some reports claim food prices are growing at a rate three times faster than wage increases while others say the ‘crisis’ is forcing 5 million kids into a life of poverty.

Working from home naturally eliminates these expenses by providing a more convenient, and affordable, solution. For younger workers with families to support, it also facilities easier juggling of home commitments with parents able to greet their children after school while still ‘on the clock’ at work.

The saved money can also be of huge benefit when you consider the average cost of raising a child is estimated to be 62% higher in 2014 than it was just over a decade ago in 2003. The total figure – £227,266 for those raising children to age 21 – is £5,000 higher than in 2013.

But remember, home working is not without its challenges for younger workers. A strict discipline that requires high levels of self-motivation and the ability to avoid distraction, working from home could actually increase stress levels amongst busy families.

Working from home can make it more difficult to stick to contracted hours – through both underperformance and over commitment – while having constant reminders of the corporate world in a domestic setting can be both distracting and disruptive to everyday routines.

Increased freedom and relaxation for older workers
Cutting financial and time constraints are not reserved exclusively for younger age groups though. Analysts from asset manager BlackRock reported a significant increase in the ‘raw’ cost of securing a sufficient income for retirement this April – claiming the figure has more than doubled in the last 40 years.

When combined with longer life expectancies (which now totals 79 years for men and 83 years for women according to the Office for National Statistics), this presents serious challenges to savers seeking to ensure they have enough money to support themselves throughout their lives – but could working from home be the answer?

According to The Jobs Economist’s director John Philpott ‘Britain’s ageing population is fuelling the trend’ for home working ‘with more older people needing to work, but preferring to do it from home’.

The simple fact is that many older people are choosing to work into their retirement – either through personal preference or for financial need. Moving their work into their homes not only represents an opportunity to save money but it also reduces the stress and pressures associated with commutes or lengthier working hours.

Philpott explained that ‘more older people are seeking to avoid the daily commute and the stresses of office life‘ by embracing the home working trend. By attaining greater freedom and providing them with a lifestyle more conducive to relaxation, older workers could actually be benefitting more than just their wallet.

Health conditions associated with stress or physical exertion could, theoretically, be reduced and the ability to select ‘flexi working’ whereby daily hours and weekly commitments can vary ensures they’re able to enjoy their lifestyles while still earning a living – something which is vital for their long term happiness and stability.

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