Reward asks the experts whether companies should financially enable staff to work from home

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'Sadly, home and other forms of flexible working are still regarded as a benefit for staff rather than also for business. What should matter is that you get the job done. So it seems fair that employers should cover the expenses of regular home workers, such as office equipment, phone bills and technical support – expenses they would have to pay were they in the office. Freelancers can get these expenses covered and office workers get new equipment when they need it. Why should home workers be any different? As a home worker myself, I think technical support is the most crucial thing an employer can provide. When I do have to go into an office, I get less done than at home.' Mandy Garner, editor,

'For the frequent home worker, the answer has to be yes. It is not unreasonable for an employer to make a financial contribution or supply a desk and necessary technology so their staff can work effectively from home. Many responsible employers already do this, including BT, which provides a range of kit together with online safety self-assessment guidance to their employers. Some employers might object to effectively paying for two offices. But many firms have also reduced their office costs by downsizing to smaller premises and some have gone virtual. With many staff saying working from home provides a greater work/life balance and contributes to their motivation and performance, it can only be a win-win.' Phil Flaxton, chief executive, Work Wise

'The best companies are realising their workforce also exists outside of the office. Flexible working is moving from being a luxury to a necessity, so organisations need to view spending money on flexible working as an investment. Flexible working can actually reduce overall costs, while companies with an agile workforce can spend less money on large offices and amenities. The fact that staff are happier also means they are less likely to move. Overall, firms must see flexible working as a long term investment. A relatively small donation can deliver huge benefits, including overhauling a company’s culture and ensuring they stay ahead of the game.' Carmen Bury, head of UK marketing, Unify