Working from home more strenuous than in office

Work from home

Working from home can be harder than a day at the office, a new study suggests.

As the government pushes for a rise in teleworkers, the survey has revealed that the biggest challenges of toiling remotely, from places like the home study or cafes.

According to the poll children and family demanding attention were the top obstacle to working from home for 57 percent of Australians, the Herald Sun reported.

Nearly half rated difficulty concentrating on work, while a third cited problems accessing office equipment, followed by children, family and pets interrupting phone calls.

The survey has sparked calls for better support for teleworkers, after Prime Minister Julia Gillard committed to boosting the number of public servants working remotely up from 4 percent to 12 percent by 2020.

Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney said working from home was not necessarily a "panacea" for those wanting flexible working hours - particularly mothers.

"For a lot of women, work is about leaving that care and responsibility and having a different focus. It can be very difficult to juggle both from home.... people can end up more stressed," she said.

She said that those working for an employer who wanted to work from home needed to take into consideration a raft of factors.

These included who bears the cost of the home office, adequate support from and access to superiors, and issues around occupational health and safety and compensation for work-related injury.

More than 580 Australian businesses were surveyed by flexible workplace company Regus as part of a global poll of 24,000 people in 90 countries.

Jacqueline Lehmann, country head for Regus Australia said despite the benefits to productivity and work life balance, teleworkers could face loneliness and alienation working outside an office.

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