We in Red Tree Recruitment have long been advocates of Remote Working within our own company, and we have seen the shift towards offering this option to employees amongst our client’s sectors for some years now. However, over the last 12 months, this has become a significant factor in the candidate’s decision-making process when accepting new positions. Here, our Managing Director Eamonn O’Reilly takes a look at what are the motivating factors behind this trend.
Increased Broadband Availability:
Depending on where you are reading this and how long it took you to download this article, you will agree or disagree. However, with the planned roll-out of the National Broadband Plan, there is the ever-increasing ability of staff to work from home at the same speeds as in the workplace. Increased security and cloud technology facilitate staff to securely access systems and perform the same tasks no matter where they are situated.
The increased traffic in our towns and cities and the proliferation of people commuting 3 hours and more per day to work has become a huge talking point, and indeed a significant issue in our recent election campaign. Prime Time’s “Commuting for a Living” documentary was a real eye-opener to the seriousness of this situation.
The knock-on effects of this lifestyle are being felt across the workforce as the cumulative effect of long-distance driving/commuting impacting health as well as on lifestyles and family life. If you have the option to work remotely even one day a week, it can have a hugely positive outcome on a number of aspects:
- Childcare (More time with young kids and extended family and friends)
- Reverse to Life-Work
- Time to pursue more hobbies/pastimes
- Employees closer to their families and where they are from
- Flexibility and remote working as an option increases positive employee engagement
- Increased productivity
- Improved Well-being (Less stress with no commute)
The impacts of a large percentage of the working population spending so much time commuting is having a broader impact on society. Whether it is reduced time spent with family and friends, the inability to get involved in social and sporting pursuits or the broader environmental impact of the road network being clogged with traffic. Remote and/or flexible working arrangements reverse these consequences in multiple ways to benefit our society:
- In terms of living arrangements, there is a downward pressure on the price to purchase and rent. Not everyone is looking to buy or rent closer to work or within a 25-mile radius of major cities.
- Sporting clubs will get their players back.
- With a positive injection of people dispersed across the country, new businesses will be set up to cater for this influx in population – shops, gyms, etc.
- From an environmental point of view, we will have less carbon polluting cars on the road.
- In addition, there will be less of a requirement to invest in new roads and bypasses, so public money can be spent elsewhere (Health and Education).
The trends we have been seeing in the market across our specialist sectors is that greater numbers of companies are paying heed to the Wellness of their staff and adapting their employment practices to incorporate options for remote working. Opportunities to work one day a week remotely are now common amongst financial services, professional services (law firms and accounting firms). We are also seeing more flexibility being offered around working hours, for example, working your core hours anything between 7 am and 7 pm or options to work from 8 am – 4 pm or the traditional 9 am – 5 pm.
The increase in the number of Co-Working business hubs across the country has also facilitated the move to remote working.
Major job boards are now giving options to select remote working as a search criterion for jobs, a key indicator of its popularity.
Candidates are actively seeking new roles with the option for remote or flexible working and will rarely leave a position that has this option if not receiving the same or better with a new employer.
It is now a key talent attraction/retention tool for companies.
Research has shown that flexible and remote working improves productivity and employees are happier.
From an employer brand perspective, it creates a positive impression, and those companies are becoming the employers of choice for top talent.
So, remote working, where possible and where proper broadband exists can alleviate many illnesses being encountered by the modern workforce, both practical and mental. At Red Tree Recruitment, we are advocates of remote working and firmly believe that companies that actively embrace this concept will win the talent battle and be a magnet for high-quality employees.
I appreciate that not all jobs in specific sectors can be done remotely. However, with the advancements in technology (MDM, Collaborative Software) and procedures, it wouldn’t be stretching it to say 20% of roles right now could be done remotely tomorrow.
What impact would that make to people’s lives?
We want to hear from you. Please take 1 more minute to answer our survey.
Remote Working Advocate
Links to other interesting articles :
- Grow Remote – The Grow Remote movement to transform the working landscape of Ireland by encouraging and enabling more people to work remotely has secured €500,000 in State funding.
- Free Public Transport Dubliners spend on average 246 hours in traffic every year. That’s more than Paris (237) and London (227). Moreover, Dublin is believed to be the slowest city centre, dipping as low as six miles per hour (9.6km/h). Traffic woes in Galway, Cork and other Irish cities are common knowledge
- Irish Times – Office Space Issues