Remote Working; the perk that can't be ignored

by communicate-rs_cms

The TFL tube strikes on Monday morning brought London to a standstill; every zone 1 station was closed and Londoners battled against the elements, jam-packed buses and extortionate taxi prices to make it into the office. A thought that we don’t doubt was echoed throughout every office corridor was simply “wouldn’t it be easier to just work from home?”. Between 2005 – 2015, statistics collated by the ONS showed that the amount of people working from home increased by 800,000, with London seeing the greatest amount of growth. This trend is only set to rise in the future, especially with the added prominence placed on work/life balance by candidates searching for a job. With this in mind, we decided to reach out to our candidates to discover their opinions on remote working.
The ability to work remotely is a great perk for many employees, but something that only 35% of our candidates surveyed have the opportunity to benefit from. Research shows that staff with flexi-hours often have higher employee satisfaction levels and ultimately a better work/life balance. As we mentioned in our previous article, Perks of the Job, potential candidates and current employees are looking for more than monetary benefits when deciding to join or remain at a company. Rather than just offering a slightly bigger bonus, if a company wants to hire and retain top talent they need to ensure their benefits stand out from the crowd and remote working is now a perk that should potentially be offered in order to achieve this.
Working remotely is definitely a perk desired by many candidates, with 25% saying it would impact their decision making process when presented with future roles. However, a concern amongst some that we spoke to is that there would be a lack of team relationships and communication could break down, causing staff to feel left out of the loop. Despite this, those who were worried felt that if continuous contact was maintained, then these issues would be unlikely to arise. Finally, another clear trend that became evident after speaking with our candidates is that remote working seems to be a definite perk of seniority, and not something offered out to more junior employees.
From an employer perspective; studies suggest that allowing employees (in professional industries) to work from home often yields better results in regards to productivity. Independent working creates a sense of responsibility and an employee feels more trusted and valued. This in turn typically leads to an improvement in employee retention, therefore cutting associated HR costs required when replacing staff.
Employers are inevitably cautious of allowing their workforce out of their sight, but it is rapidly becoming a way of working life, and something that companies may have to adjust to if they want to successfully secure the top talent in the market. The rise of technology is making working away from the office far easier: remote desktop access, video conferencing platforms such as Google Hangout and an increased use of smartphones has allowed employees to work remotely with ease. Ensuring the key communication channels are always open, allows for cohesive teamwork, even if the team isn’t in the same room, and often helps to put a wary employer’s mind at rest!
Going forward, if remote working is to become the norm or even slightly more common, it would be advisable for employers to willingly adjust and offer it to their employees as a perk. As we know, a swinging factor for the most in demand candidates on the market is work/life ratio, so it is essential that these softer perks are not disregarded. However, we feel that there needs to be balance and businesses can’t let their corporate cultures and workplace environments fall short so should not forget about communication and team relationships.
If you feel that Communicate can assist you with any of your hiring needs or you are looking to make a step up, then get in touch now at info@communicate-rs.com or give us a call on 020 3617 9730. Alternatively, visit our Job Search Page now to see our current live roles.