We were asked to give our opinion for an upcoming white paper on what companies are doing to future-proof their businesses and attract, keep and incentivise their teams. Brilliant online tools, and data that can be accessed anywhere, enables staff to be super effective without being restricted to their main office. Here was our response…
We’re seeing more companies use technology as a means to increase the flexibility they can offer their staff. This allows them access to a broader range of talent and ideas.
Companies are utilising their office spaces more efficiently (rather than upsizing) and encourage staff to come into the office for meetings and to get things done, rather than a routine 9-to-5. Most staff find that they can focus for longer periods outside of the office, without the micro-interruptions that occur in office life, and are often encouraged by their managers to stay at home (or at an out-of-office office, nearer their home) more.
This has been the case in larger companies for a longer period of time (especially in the heart of London, where people are keen to ditch the commute), but we’re now seeing this filter down to smaller outfits. It can work equally well outside of London, and enable smaller companies to engage employees that would have never previously been available, with different skillsets, backgrounds and networks.
The flexibility of working in other places is also becoming much more common with senior staff, some of whom carry out the majority of their work outside of the office. It tends to be the view that they can respond to colleagues when they feel appropriate, and can thus use their time much more effectively. On more than one occasion we’ve heard them describe themselves as “disruptive influences” because they are passionate about engaging with their colleagues, which can lead them to spend too much of the day conversing. By working outside of the office, and engaging in meetings and social functions in the office, they feel they can get the best of both worlds.
The environment of ‘fun to be in’ workspaces, and a play-hard-work-hard ethos might sound like it only fits in Silicon Valley, but it is attracting the best and the brightest graduates, speeding up the bedding in process for new joiners, and preventing staff getting itchy feet. Equally, senior staff feel they can get more done, office spaces don’t need to be quite so big, and it can be a much greener way to run an office.