When you think of 'remote working' what comes to mind? People on laptops working in cafes, perhaps? It might surprise you to learn that Brits actually prefer to work from home, in a personal office space or communal environment than from a café.
It's been more than three years since the UK Government introduced legislation that gave employees the right to request flexible working. So, we at Polycom asked more than 2,000 businesspeople from across the UK where they prefer to work remotely, and may come as no surprise that home (45%) is the preferred location. That makes sense; we don't need to travel, we can help ourselves to all the tea and biscuits we like. For parents, it's particularly handy.
Many of us are even creating in shed offices! Sale of sheds rocketed 22% in 2016 and even former PM David Cameron is talking about writing his memoirs in his shepherd's hut. I just hope the Wi-Fi reaches that far!
But homeworking is not for everyone. A full third (33%) of people don't trust themselves to get started and stay focused when working remotely. That used to be the joke when home working first really started taking off; "oh yes, watching daytime TV, are you?"
Added to that, a small number of us (6%) could work from home if we wanted but prefer the routine and human company of going into the office.
That perception has changed though, as people have culturally become accustomed to remote working and, of course, technology has emerged to make flexible working a fully immersive, collaborative experience.
That convenience of home may be the reason why a surprisingly low number of us (8%) like to work from a place with background activity, such as a café. That environment suits a certain type of person who can phase out the background noise and get work done. It's probably the choice of 'digital nomads' while travelling, but UK professionals prefer to work remotely from an open plan office (16%) or personal space (18%) over a café.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of the UK now works remotely at some point, so it's become culturally engrained. Whether we're working from home, from a communal office, or even a café, as long as we view work as our occupation rather than a physical location then we can really enjoy the benefits remote working brings.