Today is National Work from Home Day and, fittingly, bedigital have taken the step of introducing remote working on Fridays for all staff based at our Cardiff office.
The idea came out of a seminar on productivity. Amongst a plethora of lessons we learnt that day, we realised that spending five days a week in an open-plan office isn't optimal. We tried to think of ways we could collectively increase productivity and creativity, whilst retaining positive employee engagement.
We did some research around the possibility of shortening the working week, following the example of the eminently efficient German car workers, but this wasn’t practical given the demand in our industry to be on hand to respond to the requirements of our clients. We also investigated ways that we could improve creativity by removing distractions like email for designated periods, so that our team could focus on things like writing quality content or solving complex problems.
Finally, we also considered counter arguments, from advocates of more traditional working practices, largely concerned with trust and security issues. In our opinion, these seemed more reminiscent of the kind of old-fashioned company culture which we are determined bedigital will not replicate. We believe that high productivity and quality work come from trust and positive engagement of our employees in our vision and values.
After some deliberation we arrived at an easy conclusion: a weekly remote working day.
None of this is particularly ground-breaking. According to the Trades Union Congress, there are 4.2 million remote workers in the UK, or 13.7 per cent of the workforce. A figure which is rising year on year. However, remote working is less frequently found within a sales- and services-led business. Which is ironic given the dominant demographic of the workforce in these industries…. Millennials!
According to much recent commentary, Millennials, more than previous generations, want more autonomy in the workplace and more flexibility from their employers. As 2019 is the year that Millennials will overtake Generation X as the dominant generation in the workforce, it seems likely that remote working will continue to gain popularity. Even industries which traditionally have not considered flexible practices like remote working will need to evolve or risk being left behind.
With competition for talent intensifying, alongside retention challenges, we believe that in the current workplace, not offering flexible working to your employees is far more perilous to your business than the largely imagined threats posed by a very small number of individuals who might try to take advantage of your trust.
Get in touch to discuss how bedigital can help you recruit and retain the best technology talent.