Remote working or office work is the current hot topic among business leaders. What do you gain or lose by both? Maybe a hybrid is the way to go.
Flexible working is here to stay. It may not be in the exact form that it was during lockdown, but as we’ve noted before, flexible working has shown to work amazingly well for some companies.
Immediate plans for different businesses differ from 5 days in the office to… not having an office at all! It depends on the industry, of course, but more and more companies got around to the benefits of flexible working during lockdown.
What does flexible working really mean?
The actual definition of flex working is working that suits an employee’s needs, for example having flexible start and finish times, or working from home. So far so good – most people have probably gotten that message the last few months!
On the other hand, what flex work means to your business depends on you. The key thing is to be open to what suits your employees best. Not – as you may think – in terms of what’s most convenient for them, but in terms of how to ensure they are their happiest, most productive and creative version of themselves.
Flexibility leads to trust, which leads to better productivity.
What are the benefits of remote working vs office work?
So if flex allows for a hybrid – why have a hybrid in the first place? Let’s look at some benefits of remote working and office working.
Remote working is more inclusive
For others, it’s not the mental health but the extra time in the morning to go for a run, or not stress so much with the kids.
There is also a contingent of people who just don’t work their best in the office. Maybe they have a role that requires a large level of concentration, or they just don’t function well among a lot of people.
And that’s okay! The good thing about remote working and flex is it also allows it to be okay in a work setting.
Hiring part-time talent
The other benefit is that if you have a flexible work schedule, you open yourself up more easily to taking on part-time employees. When your general approach to work is more open, fitting a part-timer into that frame is not as tough.
And part-timers are great! You can get way more bang for your buck. Or to put it more simply, you can pay an experienced person for 2 days of work rather than a full time for 5.
Take advantage of your employees’ rythm
Yet – the 9-5 work life has had a hard time catching up. If your creatives are night owls, do you let them work later to come up with better ideas? If your Head of Talent needs to leave at 4.30 on Tuesdays to do her favourite yoga class, why not let her if it means she will do a better job – instead of spending 4.30 onwards day dreaming about where she could be?
If your programmers are happier and more productive from home, where they skip the commute and can focus better than in the office – there’s no reason not to let them work from wherever they please – as long as it works for your business.
Working from afar
On that note – where do you allow your employees to work from? There has been a surge in people working from abroad as a part of allowing for remote working. We at Juggle are certainly no strangers to that either! If your employees want a country side break while still being on the clock – just make sure there is wifi!
And of course, remind them to take actual holidays as well.
What about the office?
As Russ from The Creative Engagement Group noted recently on our podcast, some tasks are just not cut out for remote working.
And indeed, a lot of workers who miss the office will tell you that what they miss the most is the social interaction.
Let your office become your creation and innovation hub
Whether you are renting a co-work or have a massive central office space, maybe it’s time to redefine what’s expected of that space?
A bunch of companies are seeing a shift towards the office as the social and creative space. Or the meeting hub. Real actual face-to-face human interaction is never fully going to go away. Some meetings are just quicker or more engaging in person.
And for the social bees that prefer the office, let them have it! Ultimately, flex is about listening to your employees’ needs.
Take a modern approach to work
At the end of the day, it’s all about what works for you and your employees. The trend says at least a certain percentage of your workforce will prefer to work flex. Do you let them?