During the pandemic, we saw a huge shift in how our clients worked, with many going fully remote. This new setup felt liberating and empowering for their staff, but in the years coming out of the pandemic, businesses and workers are trying to find a balance that works for them.
Often, hybrid or flexible working is seen as the solution, so why bother with the office at all? And if you do choose to have an office space, how many days should staff be expected to go in?
For many workers who love going remote, there is a common question as to why companies keep their offices; why not just go fully remote and save on the rent? For many, this argument comes down to productivity, with advocates on both sides of the argument claiming that their preferred scenario is more productive.
In a recent paper from Kings College London; workers claim to be more productive at home whilst office managers argue that you need to be in and together to get the best working atmosphere.
Whilst taking the productivity case out of the return to the office, there are still positives that show having an office space is great for the company and its employees:
Culture is the most important thing for a company. Good company culture is what keeps great staff staying and new staff wanting to join.
Culture happens when you are together, through the good times and the tough times; it is pulling together and getting to know each other. This is always harder through a webcam; closeness breeds togetherness.
When working with them face-to-face, understanding an employee’s needs, especially regarding their development, is much easier. Remotely, it is easy for an employee to fall through the cracks and have their development targets missed.
For people just finding their feet, face-to-face contact is essential for their development. You learn so much in the first years of your career, and if that time is always spent at home, you don’t get the knowledge and experience of others, hindering your development and overall career trajectory.
Innovation isn’t a solo experience. It happens as you talk and see other people; you share ideas, problems and opinions, helping to find a solution. This is much easier when in an office environment.
For employees, going remote has many benefits, such as a better work-life balance thanks to no commute or the ability to move out to the countryside. But there are benefits to companies as well.
Traditionally, companies were constricted to their immediate location when looking to hire. With hybrid working, the talent pool is much greater, and with remote work, it becomes borderless.
The more freedom an employee has the more likely they are to stay, with a study from the IWG showing that 72% of office workers would prefer long-term flexibility over a payrise.
We can’t say what is right for any company to do or not do. Will we force our employees back to the office full-time? No, but we will not be going fully remote either. We love coming into the office and seeing people happy to be there, but that happiness comes from wanting to be there.
We work with our people to ensure they have the right balance that suits them as an individual. They understand why we need people in the office, and we understand that we need to be flexible for them, so when they come into the office, it’s a positive thing.
Like all work considerations, you have to find what works for you as a company. Whilst there are many companies that offer some form of fully remote, flexible or hybrid working, every solution has positives and negatives. As the company, it is down to you to understand what is important for you and your employees and how you can attract the best hires.
We at ea Change would love to speak to you if you want to find the right candidate to match your business’s unique needs. We specialise in Business Transformation, Digital, Data and Technology recruitment and help source the best talent from across the UK.