At Stanford, they call it the new “working-from-home economy”—one featuring “an incredible 42% of the labor force working from home full-time.” The latest Gallup survey finds 58% working at home at least some of the time. Greenwich workers who count themselves among the 51% who prefer remote work “because it improves work-life balance” will also be in sync with their employers. According to Digital Workplace’s estimate, firms that offer remote work report having a “25% lower employee turnover rate.”
For those who might be dubious about flexjobs.com’s contention that 75% of employees “are less distracted at home,” Atlassian, a developer of team productivity software, offers some common-sense confirmation: “Seventy-six percent prefer to avoid the office when they need to concentrate on an important task.”
Naturally, the rising tide of Greenwich home workers creates a corresponding surge in the need for Greenwich home workplaces—areas fully or partially given over to business activity. Realtor® Magazine predicts that home offices “will become a hot amenity for the long term”, and we agree. From what our team is seeing on the ground, "where am I working?" is the number one question that buyers ask when looking at homes these days. It's not that they need a dedicated office, but they need a place away from family noise.
All this points to at least one wrinkle that hasn’t as yet been given much attention: workplace safety. The requirement for things like smoke detectors, adequate lighting and ventilation, and unobstructed walkways are second nature to human resource professionals—but few Greenwich home workers have probably given them much thought. The immediate need for a strong Wi-Fi connection and comfortable seating are more likely to have drawn their attention. Yet, according to the government’s telework.gov website, ensuring workplace safety is the remote worker’s responsibility. Given the number of hours now being spent in Greenwich home offices, that is worth treating seriously.
Photo: The Great Room/Library at Sunridge Farm. Available for Acquisition. 534 & 536 Riversville Rd. Greenwich CT