Remote work – Is it a deal breaker?

Remote work Ellis Fox blog

There are strong views on remote and hybrid work and it can become quite a heated debate. Those that have embraced remote work, don’t see the need to return to the office. While others thrive in a busy office environment and don’t understand how peers enjoy working in isolation. What’s right? What’s wrong?  Or is it neither? Is there more to the debate on remote working?

Expanding the definition of diversity

In recent years, diversity, equality and inclusion have become more prominent in corporate policies. But most of these efforts have focused on gender or race equality. But what if diversity is defined by diverse needs and preferences, rather than ethic origin. What if equality is giving equal recognition to what defines the ideal working environment regardless of your gender, age, or even gender identification?

The reality is that the pandemic ushered in drastic change as most employees were required to work from home. For some this was very stressful trying to balance work and home life in a much closer and overlapping environment.  For others avoiding a 2 hour daily commute and being able to schedule their own day, opened up a flexible way of working that they’d never envisioned before, and they loved it. So much so that they’re not willing to give it up.

For many candidates, the option of hybrid and remote work has become a deal breaker when searching for a new role. Companies not willing to offer this and insisting employees work full time in offices are finding they have fewer candidates to choose from. Are they really losing out and should they consider more flexible working conditions?

What makes a company work?

Ultimately it’s the leadership that define company policy. Many CEO’s feel that they cannot build a cohesive corporate culture with everyone working remotely. There may be an element of truth to this. It is harder, but it’s not impossible. The question is: what’s more valuable? Employee engagement and productivity, or conformity to corporate policy?

Hybrid and remote working is not about which is right or wrong. It’s about understanding what employees need and what their priorities are. Equally for employees, it’s about understanding what makes a company work effectively and respecting that senior management may have reason behind their decisions. It’s worth listening to both sides of the conversation and being willing to find that common ground.