Remote Working Improves Staff Retention
An increasing number of small and medium business owners are recognising the benefits of allowing staff to work remotely, according to a survey by Dale Office Interiors which asked the question, ‘Do you think your company would benefit from giving employees the option to work remotely?’
Over two-thirds of businesses identified major benefits to allowing their employees to work remotely, with more than a fifth (22.6 per cent) believing greater flexibility helps ‘retain and attract’ talent; and a further 16.9 per cent agreeing ’fluid working’ increases productivity.
Interestingly, 20 per cent of the participants believed remote working saves money on office space which suggests many sectors no longer require all employees to be in the office every day.
The findings echo recent figures which show 4.2 million people regularly worked from home in 2015, with the majority working in the information, communication, construction and agriculture industries.
Remote working has become increasingly popular in recent years as the rise of the so-called ‘gig economy’ has seen millions of employees take short-term roles or work as ‘independent contractors’. Recent figures published by the UK government's Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, suggest approximately 2.8 million people were employed in the gig economy over the last year.
For those occupying these roles, ‘independence’ and ‘flexibility’ are cited as the two principal benefits of remote working. Business leaders are now spending thousands in an attempt to predict how permanent the move towards a gig economy is and whether firms need to do more to accommodate these working practices.
Of the business owners who said remote working did not fit their business model, most (19 per cent) cited the need for ‘all hands on deck’.
A further 7.1 per cent were concerned team cohesion would be lost through remote working, whilst just under 5 per cent didn’t believe staff were as productive when working from home.
Many businesses are even opting for a ‘third way’ by catering for permanent office-based staff while accommodating flexible working by creating discrete areas that can be used by visiting employees.
“Although remote working isn’t viable for every company, that doesn’t mean they can’t be flexible in their approach to how their employees work,” saiys Warren Bricknell, managing director at Dale Office Interiors. “Agile working, whereby flexible workspaces, hot-desking and communal areas are incorporated into the office design, lends itself perfectly to businesses that require staff on-site at least some of the time. It allows them to create a comfortable, collaborative environment for current and prospective employees that looks nothing like the typical ‘office’ they might expect."
Warren continues, “Invariably, we have found that projects in recent years have all included some requirement of this nature. It’s not a phenomenon only found in the realms of fortune 500 companies. Bringing in freelance specialists or contractors is actually proven to be a great way to bring high-level skills into a not-so-large business, and the workspace can be designed to support this.”
Visit www.daleoffice.co.uk for additional information.
•Yes, it helps retain and attract talent - 22.6%
•Yes, it saves money on office space - 20%
•No, our industry needs all hands on deck - 19%
•Yes, it increases productivity - 16.9%
•No, it’s hard to maintain team cohesion - 7.1%
•No, staff will do less work - 4.6%
•Already do -1.2%
•Other - 8.6%