Industry ‘must adapt’ to changing work trends

Ramesh Sharma

June 1, 2004

The bank’s ‘Freestylers and Work’ report on the future of employment has shown an increasing number of people are now working from home, or intending to, with 12 million people estimated to be working within a home environment by 2020.

The research went on to warn the mortgage industry that changes will have to be made to keep up with differing living and working conditions with more people opting to become self-employed. Over half of those surveyed (53.1 per cent) believed the home will be the ‘workplace of the 21st century.’

Ashley Ramsey, marketing manager at Standard Life Bank, insisted the market would have to adapt in line with changing living trends. She said: “It’s evident that the benefits brokers offer will have to be looked into as more people move towards working from home. Increasing numbers are turning to self-employment and as a result will be after more flexible products. We also expect lending criteria from lenders to change and there is a likelihood different employee benefits will come to the fore.”

Ramsey also said the rise in technology-based working within the industry has made it easier and more cost-effective for people to work away from an office environment.

Sarah Gwilt, mortgage adviser at Dickson Lishman Prince, hoped the study would make lenders re-examine the deals on offer for the self-employed. She said: “I think that home workers will be looking for lenders who offer flexibility including overpayment, underpayment and payment holiday options.

“The biggest potential problem I see is if these home workers are self-employed, they will have to provide proof of income and accounts as most lenders require a minimum of two-year accounts, which often means trading for three years. This may make lenders look differently at the self-employed.”

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