As someone who works 5 days per week from the Investigo London office, I’m naturally a little envious of those who have flexible working agreements. However, I am wondering if these type of agreements would work well for employees and businesses alike? Would they work for all clients? Would they work for us?
Hot-desking is a heated topic, one that’s been debated a lot recently. More and more of our Insurance clients in the Square Mile have adopted Hot-desking and remote working. Office space is one of the largest costs associated with running a business so this is not a very surprising trend.
Some argue that flexible working can help employees become more creative and productive by encouraging them to talk to their colleagues from other departments, colleagues who they wouldn’t normally work with. I understand their point of view however, whilst I thoroughly enjoy working with new people, I believe it would be more important as well as more relevant to me to sit next to the members of my own team.
Others say flexible working agreements are great to attract Millennials who crave the flexibility offered by the digital age we live in. When I first started working, I deliberately chose an office based role rather than a field based one and I luckily ended up at a company like Investigo where we do a great deal to ensure everyone not only enjoys the work environment, but a pretty healthy social aspect too. Although, now that I have home responsibilities too, I am more aware of the need for flexibility, family time etc. I do find it hard though to determine how I would work from home and manage a remote based recruitment team.
Initial findings online indicate that employees are wary of surveillance systems used to manage dispersed workers and they may even increase counter-productive behaviours such as only putting in as much effort as they feel inclined to.
I don’t want to be judgemental but, the cynic in me dwells on individuals who, for example, clock on before they actually start working or, the ones who get back from holiday at 5AM because they are officially “working from home”! On the other hand, I am 100% in agreement that flexible working enables people to return to work from having had children and be highly efficient, dedicated and more passionate about work than many others.
In conclusion, I don’t think there is a straight answer to the above question. I genuinely believe that hot-desking and working from home has a positive impact as long as it’s done correctly. I also think that it works better for some industries / businesses / departments than others and it can effectively break down geographical barriers. People are now willing to travel further in exchange for greater flexibility, making it easier for us to place the right person in the right role.
Moreover, flexible working agreements are placing more responsibility on people to self-manage. Those who work diligently and see it as a way to improve efficiency and business benefit will outweigh those who see it as a chance to do less and avoid killing the proverbial “Golden Goose”.
What’s your take on hot-desking and working from home?