Remote Working… It’s now the norm… But what does it really mean?
Remote working is no longer a novelty, a LinkedIn Poll topic or an adjustment for many. Its rise since the pandemic, has now seen it become almost normality and here at Noble Futures we are seeing over 50% of the new roles we take on offering a form of remote or home-based working in the job description, so it is safe to say, it’s not going anywhere either.
Initially, for some, homeworking was a knee jerk reaction to the lockdowns and so many companies across the UK and Ireland scrambled to create the settings, boundaries and remote style that worked for their business. But nearly 2 years on since the start of the pandemic, many companies have evolved their remote working offering, so much so, that we are now seeing a huge variation in what each company provides and expects under the term Remote Working.
The most common varieties we have encountered over the last 12months include:
Office-Based with Remote Working Flexibility
Since the initial lockdowns lifted and life became a little more flexible, this has been one of the more popular version of remote working that we have seen in our vacancies and clients. It offers employees a little more structure by keeping the office facility available but with the employee to make the decision on what days they would like to be in setting and which days they would prefer to work from home. Some clients are very flexible leaving the ratio of days at home/office entirely up to the employee and others are quite structured, asking for employees to decide on a 3/2 or 4/1 split between the two.
Hybrid remote working has been a term we have seen an increase of in the last 6 months. Most commonly for our clients, it has described a role where by the hours are 90% home based but one day a week or one day a month you are required to join team members for a meeting to touch base and collaborate face to face. We have largely seen this in Sales based roles but it is continuing to grow in popularity and we have noticed it becoming companywide for several businesses over 2021.
Fully Remote but with office-style boundaries and hours
A large proportion of businesses that are able to have made the big decision to close the main office facility. This frees them up to create a fully supported home working environment for their employees, covering costs of computers, laptops, VOIP phones, office furniture and mobile phones, freeing their staff to adjust to an entirely remote workplace.
The hours and times employees are expected to work are still very similar to that of the workplace, 9 to 5.30, Monday to Friday etc but many are also seeing positive results from adjusting to some flexibility for staff, with flexible hours on start and end times becoming a little more fluid for some. This is very much dependant on the management culture of the business but as more time and comfort grows with Remote Working, more trust in staff has flourished and companies are evolving with this.
Entirely remote, flexible and free flow.
Perhaps most popular with the new tech-driven start-ups, the fully flexible, fully remote contract has seen a rise in the last 12 months too. This is where the employer has stated that as long as the requirements of the job are fully met, the freedom to dictate hours and days whilst working from home, vacation, anywhere, is entirely open to the employee. Whilst rarer to find, it has become more visible in the last 6 months, with many companies using this element of their culture to advertise and promote their business and its working style with the younger, more digitally savvy audience.
To say one of these options is better than the other is not possible. It has a huge reflection on a number of factors. Firstly the employee. Some people thrive in an office setting, bouncing off of their colleagues’ energies and requiring regular human face to face contact, whether it is full time or just once or twice a week. Other employees can thrive from the independence of being fully remote, finding the lack of distractions, noise and commute time allows them to focus on the detail of their role and to achieve it with far fewer complications.
Another huge factor is the role you are hired to do and the company culture. It is not feasible for many roles to be fully remote but also if the company is more traditional in culture or management style, they may not feel as comfortable with an entirely flexible or fully remote set-up. For some companies, they are also unable to provide the sheer number of technologies required to bring all staff to full remote working without having to make the huge commitment to removing the office and its associated costs from the scenario. There are so many factors at play in how a company evolves into their remote working style, which it is understandable to see how so many varieties of the home working contract have evolved.
If you’re job hunting and looking at Remote Working, we would always suggest to our candidates to reflect on what kind of home working works for you, your lifestyle and your work profile. Take the time to make sure you engage with your recruiter or hiring contact on what ‘Remote Working’ really means with the role and feel confident it works for you.
If you would like to discuss Remote Working more, or enquire about any of our current home-based roles, please do contact the Noble Futures team on 0161 820 3510 or email us at [email protected] and we would love to help.