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Flexible/Remote working – If you wanted it, then now’s your chance to keep it!

While many of us will be used to working remotely there are huge numbers of people that are not.  For some this will be an adjustment that they never wanted to make and for others the most welcome of changes, albeit in the most unwelcome of circumstances.

We talk to businesses all over the world about their flexible and remote working offerings and when these are not offered by a business there are two reasons that are most commonly given: cost and trust.  Businesses will not necessarily admit these in such black and white terms but often will.  Of course there are others, but these are most common in our experience.

The cost element is obvious and totally fair; a business which has invested in an office based infrastructure for its staff may not have the budget to pay for the required laptops, BYOD enablement or various software and technology required to enable their teams to work remotely as well.  These things are expensive and, coupled with the reduction in use of the environment and culture that they have already invested heavily in, will often be a bridge too far when it comes to spend.

The trust element is a slightly more taboo subject.  No one wants to say that they don’t trust their teams to be working when they can’t see them, and within the current workplace this is generally true anyway. But there is an inherent trust issue developed over years of organisational management theories, traditional methods and business models, fear of change, and sometimes the old ‘if it ‘ain’t broke don’t fix it’ mentality which is often present still today.

The current situation is forcing businesses to enable their teams to work remotely.  They are investing money and trust in this change and it is vital in this situation that this investment is repaid through demonstrating that it is worthwhile.  If you’ve been wanting to work from home for ages but haven’t had the facility previously then now is your chance to prove to your employer that productivity won’t decrease, it will in fact increase.  There’s lots of good advice around at the moment as to how to adapt to home working, so read it, find out what works for you and show your bosses that they should have made these investments before!  In times of uncertainty the world needs people to muck in, work hard and keep going.

If there may be some positive to this awful, awful situation that we’re in for the long run, then it may just be that we can prove that a remote working situation is a good idea and one that we should keep.

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