It seems the last twelve to eighteen months has seen the Remote Working v People Engagement debate appear as the ‘buzz’ conversation within HR. There are those who have found remote working and the lifestyle change it brings refreshing, and then there are those, on the other side, who have found the disruption unbearable and cannot wait to see remote working vanish, whilst returning to their offices. As HR leaders looking towards the end of the pandemic, we have a responsibility to end this debate and to provide the solutions.
So, what are the solutions? Do we move to a fully remote team, saving on the costs of running offices while simultaneously helping to save the planet, or do we get back to our offices as soon as possible and give our workforce the human interaction they have been craving?
I have read many articles circulating around every digital platform out there, talking about the benefits and the drawbacks of remote working and the effects it has on people engagement. They all seem to point towards one especially important key word that, we at WhichEmoji believe will be at the forefront of organisational culture for years to come: The ‘F’ word of Flexibility.
There are those who enjoy remote working and the benefits it brings, and then there are those who prefer the benefits of traditional office working. The statistics surrounding the effects remote working has had on productivity, wellbeing and people engagement, I am sure we can all agree, are very dependent on the industry you are in. Some will have seen an improvement in these areas, some will have seen a decline.
The answer is simple. We need to give flexibility.
Even before the pandemic forced us to be more flexible, the demand was there. In 2018, 87% of individuals said they would prefer more flexible work arrangements, and that demand does not seem to be going away now that we have experience of what flexible working looks like. Employees even value flexible working higher than financial incentives as a key motivator to their productivity. There is also evidence to believe that flexible working increases employee engagement, resulting in better performance, increased revenue and can significantly reduce labour turnover.
As HR leaders, our organisations and our people are looking to us to give the workplace the flexibility it is crying out for. That level of flexibility will vary, depending on your organisation and your industry, but many of us have been fortunate enough to pilot some solutions over the last twelve to eighteen months. Speak to your people, find out what works best for them, what they find to be the most beneficial way of working and develop flexibility based off that feedback. If you are struggling to find ways to gather authentic, real-time data on how your workforce is really feeling, which is essential when it comes to positive people engagement, WhichEmoji would love to help you with an Intelligently Simple, Universally Understood solution.