A topic which always provokes much discussion: the ability to work remotely, but at the same time, manage multiple internal and external stakeholder relationships and a team of direct reports.
Did you know that in the UK, more than 4 million people work solely from home? In a recent survey, 77% of employees say that a flexible working policy would make a role more attractive to them.
The old adage of “you’re not working unless you’re in the office” is no longer relevant. Working remotely doesn’t mean never seeing colleagues or clients, it simply means a flexible approach to how you work.
In fact, I’d argue that it’s because you work remotely that better relationships exist; you make more of an effort to make an effort.
Speaking from personal experience, people that work remotely are generally much more motivated than their office based equivalents; they have to be as there’s no-one to keep an eye on what they’re doing and there are fewer distractions at home than in the office. In fact, people in open plan offices can be up to 15% less productive!
Work life balance is much easier to achieve if you’re able to structure the working day around other commitments. Plus there’s other associated benefits; home workers are happier and healthier, which means....they’re more productive!
So why are employers still reluctant to shift to a more flexible model, why won’t they keep up with demand?
Of course, there are certain types of roles which simply won’t fit into a flexible model. Be it occasional home working, or a full commitment to remote working. Companies worry about lack of control, communication only working if everyone is face to face and in an office and the perception that remote workers are hard to monitor and manage.
At TMP a core area of our approach is around “Retain”. Encouraging employers who have often invested heavily in their recruitment processes to think about new ways of retaining their existing staff. Of course, offering flexible working is but one option and can’t necessarily be considered for all roles types, but organisations shouldn’t let their best people simply leave because they aren’t prepared to offer the flexibility that the workforce increasingly demands.
It’s important to remember that working from home is a privilege and not an automatic right, but sometimes things have to change and evolve, so perhaps the only way to see the benefits is to give it a try?
Written by Jon Porter, Managing Director.