Many workplaces aren’t the most conducive environments to work in, especially offices. Many house large numbers of people in small offices or densely configured open plan spaces; they’re noisy, through colleagues, phones and equipment; and disruptive, through the nature of the work itself, i.e. interruptions. Small wonder then, the demand for remote working options are increasing. It isn’t for everyone or for all organisations, but it can be for others. Remote workers often report higher levels of engagement to their work and their organisation, in comparison to on-site workers; and higher levels of productivity and job satisfaction.
Common arguments against the adoption of remote workers are: employees will be ‘out of the loop’ and miss critical information or events; they won’t do their work, because they’ll be out doing other things. Yet these arguments can be mitigated if the arrangement is set up properly in the first place. Technological tools of videoconferencing, Skype, email, instant messaging and the telephone means ongoing communications and contact; discussions and agreement on what needs to be done, by when and how, means deadlines can be met and quality work delivered; and face to face contact, when required, means quality time (different to quantity time) with key people.
The EEO Trust (NZ) reports a recent survey showing 90% of New Zealand workers want flexible employment options yet only 13% of employers say they would make this occur. The Randstad World of Work Survey shows over 1/2 the people who work from home were more satisfied when working remotely and not based in an office. To read the report, go to the EEO Trust http://www.eeotrust.org.nz and find EEO Trust Diversity Research page.