HOMEWORKING is a popular sector to work in, but high staff turnover is blamed on young recruits with unrealistic expectations and an increasingly tough marketplace.

The verdict comes from Future Travel’s recent controversial survey of the homeworking sector – criticised  because it failed to mention its brand when asking people to take part.

The survey aimed to find better ways to recruit and retain staff and, overall, respondents were positive about Future Travel and homeworking in general.

The company is now working on innovations recommended by respondents, such as a buddy scheme to create an internal support network for staff and more regular training and networking events.

More than 350 Future staff completed the survey along with 100 external respondents across different sectors. The survey was carried out by independent company Euro RSCG Riley.

Respondents cited flexible hours, uncapped earning potential and being your own boss as reasons for becoming a homeworker. The downsides ranged from feeling lonely, long hours to having no guaranteed base salary.

Successful staff said it was important to view starting up in the job in the same way as starting up a business, and added homeworkers needed to invest time and work hard to succeed.

High staff turnover was blamed on the role becoming tougher, the market becoming flooded with new entrants, the fact it can seem underpaid compared to alternative jobs, and because new starters often have unrealistic expectations.

Challenges for the sector include poor communication and support from management, having too few calls to convert, lack of appropriate training, competing with online prices, and customers not knowing what they want.

However, 72% felt they were regularly informed about training and development opportunities at Future. 

More than half said the role lived up to their expectations – but 30% were “fairly despondent”. Half felt they had a good work-life balance and just over half believed they would be working for Future in five years’ time.