Here at HireHive, we value flexibility. It’s a very important part of our culture: We all have flexible working hours and as long as our work is done, we can choose the hours that work best for us. In addition to this, we also strongly believe in remote working and working from home. All of us have the opportunity to work from home, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love to work in their pyjamas or out in the sun from time to time?! Having flexible working hours and a remote working policy can greatly improve your employees’ well being. If you are not convinced yet just keep reading!
Remote working and work from home is rapidly changing the working environment of the contemporary employee. By 2020, 65% of US companies plan to include coworking spaces as part of their office portfolio. But why? With constant improvements in domestic internet speeds, improved security policy from companies, and the increasing number of coworking spaces opening in towns across the world, the option to work remotely is becoming an increasingly attractive one.
The appeal of remote working is not being driven just by the improvements in technology and facilities: work from home and remote working are becoming in-demand benefits for prospective candidates seeking new roles. Employees and candidates are constantly seeking to improve their work-life balance and improve their overall wellbeing.
Remote work can also help you appeal to top talent that may just be at a geographical remove from you, or are seeking a change in their working habits. All things considered, putting together a remote working policy is in your organisation’s best interests. There are challenges, but the rewards are too significant to ignore.
A coworking space is the closest you can get to being in the office with your colleagues
Remote working can take away the ability to easily exchange ideas and information, which poses challenges to the remote worker. One good option here is a coworking space. A coworking space is the closest you can get to being in the office with your colleagues. Many towns and cities have seen a growth in such coworking spaces, making them accessible to remote workers. They offer the benefit of high-speed internet access and a dedicated space for work, which might be difficult to recreate at home.
With many workers in the same position, such coworking spaces become an excellent confluence and means of sharing advice around the notion of coworking and remote working. An environment like this helps to overcome the challenges associated with being at a geographical remove from your colleagues. The team around you may not be working on the same projects as you, but they can offer the other supports and insights that working in a team offers.
Co-working spaces really help to introduce work flexibility in your company culture – allowing people to come together and work in a good working environment. For us at HireHive that space is Republic of Work in Cork and also WeWork in various cities around the world.
A remote working workspace
An office environment really fosters a good work ethic and motivation, which can present difficulties when transitioning to work from home or working from a remote location. A home office or appropriate set-up is essential when working from a location separate from the rest of your team. Avoiding distractions or de-motivation when working remotely is key to its success.
If your organisation offers remote working or work from home, a home-office set up may be the easiest and quickest option. Work from home presents some specific challenges. There is the ever-present temptation to do household tasks and the risk of distraction are fairly significant. Working from home should be largely the same as working from an office space.
While the temptation to work in your pyjamas may be real, you should avoid it for the most part. Difference of feeling as well as attitude between home and the office is huge. Dressing for work or placing yourself in an environment conducive to work both help you to maintain focus on the task at hand. Forming habits and ensuring that a structure is maintained helps to ensure that work from home is successful for both worker and company.
By meeting the needs of the workforce, you will be able to attract talent you might not otherwise be able to reach
Flexibility and work-life balance
One of the greatest benefits workers now seek is workplace flexibility and work-life balance. 22% of employees leave jobs as a result of work-life balance issues, so it has a huge impact on your ability to retain talent. Many countries are introducing policies and pilot programs, all seeking to improve the work-life balance of the workforce. When flexibility and improved workplace well-being are the focus of so much discussion and under increased scrutiny, companies have to deliver if they want to be able to effectively compete for talent.
Remote working and work from home programmes help you to reach talented individuals who are looking for a change, are seeking a greater work-life balance, or who are at a geographical remove from your offices. By meeting the needs of the workforce, you will be able to attract talent you might not otherwise be able to reach. With this option, there is no need for relocation bonuses or other considerations.
Remote working and co-working spaces have really gained traction as human resourcing trends. With these trends forming part of the expected benefits or offerings of any company seeking new talent, including some or all of the elements of remote working in your general policies, will help you stay one step ahead of the competition.
Remote working programmes or work from home schemes can be scaled to be effective for large sections of your team, if not all
Companies who work exclusively with remote workers
Remote workers can help your company reduce costs in rent, facilities, and other resources while adding the value of their diverse knowledge and improved work-life balance. Some companies have taken this a step further and their workforce is made up almost exclusively of remote workers. It can be difficult to envisage a team dynamic, where your team might be located at opposite ends of the globe, but it works.
The success of such strategies is highly dependent on good communications. Communications tools like Slack help you to maintain constant contact. When you cannot lean over the desk to ask your colleague a question, communications help you to ensure you keep everyone in the loop. A culture of openness keeps collaboration and knowledge sharing at the level it needs to be.
Social media firm Meet Edgar (and one of HireHive’s favourite tool!) is just one example. 100% of their workforce has been remote since shortly after the inception of the company. How do they manage this? Of course, it takes some organisation to be able to have a 100% remote team. But there are a few solutions you can put in place to make it work. For example, making sure that all MeetEdgar’s employees have a ‘normal’ life with a proper work/life balance is essential. That’s why they decided to set regular start and end times relative to the different time zones. Finding a way to keep constant contact is also one of their main priorities. They achieve this through Slack, whether it’s to chat about work or socialising on a non-work related chatroom. If you want to know more about the solutions they put in place to have a 100% remote team, check out their dedicated post.
Remote working programmes or work from home schemes can be scaled to be effective for large sections of your team, if not all. With the wealth of options available, the supports are there for a remote working team.
How does it work for us at HireHive?
Siobhan, our Managing Director, says:
Work flexibility for everyone at HireHive has always been a key element in our work culture and something that we try to make as accessible as possible. We are lucky – the nature of our business and technology allows us to offer remote working to all employees.
I always commuted by car to work and being stuck in traffic was the most frustrating part of my day – I was annoyed because I would be late, I was frustrated because someone cut me off and I would arrive into the office with a dark cloud over my head. We looked at different options – come into work later or start early and leave early or work from home.
What we discovered is that different options suited different people and we found that as we tested this, productivity and moral actually improved. So we made ‘work flexibility’ a key part of our culture.
Recently I spent time in Italy and worked from a great co-working space for three days and spent two days in a small cafe with great wifi and even better coffee. My calendar didn’t really change, most of my meetings were online anyway and we had our team meetings using Google Hangouts. There are of course some challenges in providing this type of work flexibility. There needs to be trust and continuous communication between employees and management but for us finding employees we trust and communicate well with is part of our hiring process anyway – whether they are working from an office or from a cafe.
Maëlle, our Business Development and Digital Marketing Specialist, says:
Having flexibility at work is one of the reasons why I love working at HireHive! Since I arrived in the company, I have always been encouraged to work from home. In my case, home means either my apartment in Cork, Ireland, or my parents’ home in France. As a French woman living in Ireland, I sometimes want to go back to my home country to visit my family and friends. But without using all my holiday days! And that’s when working for a company that praises working from home makes all the difference. Being trusted to do my job from wherever I want is a big deal for me. After all, everything I need to do my job effectively is my laptop and a wifi connection!
Since I started working at HireHive, I had the opportunity to work from France twice, for a total of two weeks. And guess what? It was awesome! I managed to create a small home office for myself – basically just a corner of a dining table to put my laptop – and everything was perfect. To carry out our weekly meetings my colleagues and I just used video chat, and I tried to match my working hours with the ones I usually do in Ireland. Apart from that, everything was the same, I did my job as usual. I knew that if I had something important to share or a question to ask I could use our online chat or quickly ring my teammates. And I have to say that being able to work in my pyjamas was very enjoyable!