Will remote working become the norm?
I've been a tech recruiter for the past 4 years and have seen many changes in the industry - but the major shift that stands head and shoulders above other subjects with the companies and candidates that I work with is always remote working. The candidates are mildly obsessed with it (mainly) - but do the companies feel the same way? Or do they feel that their hand is forced to provide it as an option now?
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that the number of UK workers who have moved into remote-working has risen by nearly a quarter of a million over 10 years
Why is remote working so hot right now?
- Is it because companies are offering whatever they can to secure the best talent?
- Is it because candidates hold all the power?
- Does it save companies money in terms of office space?
- Does it lower a candidate’s salary expectations?
- Are employees happier?
- Does it help save the environment?
50% of the UK workforce is expected to be working remotely by 2020
Attitudes are changing fast and advancing tech and network capabilities have helped remote working advance rapidly in recent years and that is only likely to speed up further in the next two years
So many questions, so few answers
Remote working is becoming more and more common within the tech industry. Companies have found that it increases productivity across their tech teams as well as happiness within the work place.
According to a study by Stanford University (https://people.stanford.edu/nbloom/sites/default/files/wfh.pdf)
'employee turnover is reduced by 50% where remote working is an option'
There are more and more companies that are adopting this approach and it is no longer uncommon to have a “fully remote” team. That said, “part remote” is very much the go to for many employers. It’s a bit like Hovis’ “Best of Both”. The enjoyment of a nice slice of bright white bread with all the benefits of a boring slice of brown.
Remote working is becoming so common now that companies who insist on 5 days on-site often struggle to secure those in demand candidates.
With software such as Git, Slack, Jira etc, is it necessary for teams to have “face time” with their peers?
Probably not, but nothing will ever beat face to face collaboration and communication. It is for this reason that the majority of companies are now adopting the “part remote” way of working. Three days on site, working as a team, bonding as a team, problem solving as a team. Two days from home getting down to the nitty gritty and producing some of the best work before linking it all together when back onsite.
A CoSo Cloud survey (http://www.cosocloud.com/press-release/connectsolutions-survey-shows-working-remotely-benefits-employers-and-employees) suggests that
'77% of remote workers report greater productivity when working off-site'
Sounds perfect right? Not always. Unfortunately, there are people who ruin it for everyone. Either by going AWOL or not working as much or as hard as they would onsite with their managers around.
So, as I said earlier, so many questions, so few answers. It’s very much a matter of opinion still and there is nothing scientific to say whether remote or onsite is better. All I know as a recruiter is that it is becoming more and more common and certainly worth embracing as opposed to being frowned upon.
To those companies who are yet to embrace remote working, give it a go! What’s the harm? Start with a day a week, if all is well, increase it to two days a week. Heck, why not even go as far as 3 days a week? You may even end up with a happier workforce, a more productive workforce and it’ll certainly help you to attract and secure the strongest of candidates to take your business forward.
Go on - Grab the remote, it’s time to turn the digital age on…
Written by Armani Sharif