April 22, 2008 02:31 ET

Mobile Workforce Revolution: Away From Home Week In, Week Out

Organisations get happier 'roving' workers with

OXFORD, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - April 22, 2008) - Mobile and remote workforces continue to grow across all industries throughout the UK. In 2007, 46% of firms enabled staff to work remotely or from home, compared to just 11% in 2001; while the average amount of time spent working in a corporate office fell from 55% to just 18% in the same period. (Source: CBI, 2007).

Continually working away from home can be a lonely, expensive and costly existence; but online property rental service offers a practical compromise for 'nomadic' professionals who continually work away from their home base during the week on secondment or assignment - generally for many months at a time, at the same location.

Renting a weekday room near to work as a mondaytofriday lodger - rather than living in a faceless hotel room or guest house - enables many professionals to take up attractive career opportunities, whilst allowing employers to affordably and responsibly retain, and place their talent, where it's needed most.

In a recent survey conducted with a cross-section of its user base, reveals that just over 20% of lodgers are using the service to work on assignments away from home during the week; whilst 12% are lodging and working in an area to 'test the water' before actually relocating. Typical industries include IT, Banking, Insurance, Government, Construction and Engineering. lodger John Blewitt says, "As a construction manager for an engineering company, I'm away from home on extensive contracts for a large proportion of the year. Before signing up with, I had no choice but to continually face the solitude and anonymity of a hotel room. Now, I'm able to work on bigger sites in London, get some social life during the week, and go home to my family and friends at the weekend." Managing Director Judy Niner adds, "Equally, for organisations, ensuring that employees and contractors are happy and comfortable while undertaking assignment work is vitally important. Failure to do so can affect staff morale, motivation, and can ultimately impact on work and disrupt home lives - none of which scores high on employee retention."

How it works homeowners rent out their spare rooms to lodgers during the week, with up to Pounds Sterling 4,250 rental per annum being tax free through the Government's rent-a-room scheme. Lodgers save considerable money on commuting costs by living closer to their work, before returning home each weekend. Homeowners pay Pounds Sterling 29.95 for posting their room on the site for 3 months, and lodgers Pounds Sterling 10 per month for unlimited room searching.

Niner concludes: "The working week is no longer static - either in hours or location. Many professionals now regularly work away from home during the week. Renting a regular room near to work during the week is not only more comfortable, but less costly. And without a daily commute, personal wellbeing soars." at-a-glance:

- It's an online property rental service where professionals rent a room nearer to their work during the week, then go home each weekend

- Since its launch in 2004, has registered more than 2,500 mondaytofridayers, introducing and matching over 400 homeowners and lodgers in that time. The website also offers a wealth of advisory, legal and 'streetwise' information - including contract templates - to help prospective homeowner landlords and lodgers make their independent and successful choices

- For larger companies with mobile workers, or freelance professionals frequently on short term assignments, it gives a home-from-home during the week which not only satisfies employers' duty of care, but is much kinder to the corporate and personal budgets than hotels and B&Bs

- It beats the daily commute, so reduces carbon emissions and in turn, saves time and money for commuters

- It makes taking an ideal job far away from home feasible, without having to uproot established family ties and relocate. In fact, some mondaytofridayers lodge in an area to 'test the water' before relocating

- Homeowners can earn extra income, with up to Pounds Sterling 4,250 per annum being tax-free, and also reclaim their privacy and entire property back each weekend when their lodger returns home

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