There are very few things we can thank Covid for – but flexible working is definitely one of them.
The pandemic had such an impact on our lives that the phrase “working nine-to-five” is only ever heard now when it’s belted out by Dolly Parton fans at a karaoke bar. For too long employers believed that measuring input was the way to run a successful business. That’s why for years they kept to rigid schedules of when people started work, how long their lunch break would be and what time they were allowed to clock off. Every second was monitored to make sure each person was putting in the maximum amount of time possible.
Even though research showed that flexible working actually made employees more productive they couldn’t leave behind the old ways that had been passed down generation after generation. Remember the days when, after a rushed breakfast, exhausting commute and dash to get to your desk, it would take over an hour for the productivity to really get going. It’s only after a couple of coffees, a chat with the rest of their team and a quick check on social media that the average employee feels settled and ready to start the day.
Now we have learned that it’s by measuring output, not input, that employers can see what works – and so far flexible working has proven to be a winner. So much so that a lot of businesses are going with a full-time working from home policy or a hybrid set-up that sees people working from the office some days, and then at home on others.
It’s not surprising that numerous surveys have found that workers would choose flexible working conditions over a pay rise. Here at PCS, we are able to support companies that are coming around to the fact that work doesn’t need to be done in a specific place for it to be executed successfully. Thanks to the flexibility of our suite of solutions, employees can work from anywhere in the world. This means they can design their own working days, which allows professional and personal lives to be experienced to their fullest potential and coexist peacefully.
Thankfully, because of our flexible solutions, the publishers that we work with were able to adapt straight away to the government’s work from home guidance. At the time the government probably didn’t realise that this policy would change the lives of thousands of people for the better, giving them the flexibility they have craved for so long.
So, what are the benefits of giving employees the option of remote working?
1, It makes people happy and healthy.
Research shows that employees are happier and less stressed when they have a good work-life balance. In his book, ‘Work-life Advantage’, Dr Al James from Newcastle University revealed that a staggering 94% of workers felt less stressed at work when they were able to make use of their preferred work-life balance arrangements. Additionally, 79% of staff reported greater engagement with their work, while 78% said they were able to think more creatively at work.
2, Better than a pay rise.
A study carried out by Investors in People revealed that 31% of employees polled would rather have flexible working arrangements, such as working from home than take a pay rise. Employees who work remotely often feel more committed to the companies they work for. They see their flexible working conditions as motivation or a reward for their excellent work and are stimulated to continue to surpass their goals to continue living the lifestyle that they’ve come to love.
3, Choose the cream of the crop.
Publishers are discovering that remote working is a great way of being able to find the best people from around the world, not just those that live with a commutable distance. Being able to attract top talent internationally is a big plus for any business. And here’s something that will make employers who are keen on talent retention lean in a bit closer – it seems 75% of employees would quit their job for one that offered remote working. Maybe try adding the opportunity for remote working to your next job advert and see what response you get?
4, Finger on the pulse.
A huge bonus for publishers is that remote working means events can be covered anywhere in the world, and live updates are shared instantly. So, publishers and media organisations can get breaking news online straight away, and even make last-minute changes in print. As long as there is an internet connection there is no need for work to stop thanks to our suite of solutions. And, once an employee is used to working from home, they will find it just as easy to work from their laptop in media hot spots like Brussels and New York.
5, Giving quality time to customers.
Advertisers know that spending time with customers is an important part of the job. However, they can often find it hard to leave the office where they have everything they need to complete the sale. At PCS Publishing we have created an advertising sales system that supports remote working, meaning field salespeople can be with customers and aren’t tied to the office. Also, management can access real-time reports wherever they are, which is important for last-minute off-site meetings. Before the pandemic, Richard Branson posted a blog that went viral. He wrote, “The way we all work is going to change” and spoke about how our 9 to 5 lifestyles will end in the next decade as a result of technological advancements — from autonomous vehicles to robots to artificial intelligence.
“The idea of working five days a week with two day weekends and a few weeks of holiday each year has become ingrained in society,” he wrote. “But it wasn’t always the case, and it won’t be in the future. I’m lucky in being able to work wherever I am, at any time, and don’t see work and play as separate — it’s all living. I think this will be the case for more and more people in the future, to the benefit of businesses, countries and individuals.”
His post was almost prophetic as, because of the pandemic, more people now are using technology to communicate and work collaboratively with others. We have got used to not travelling to meetings but switching on our laptops instead and having the meeting via a video call. Technology is being geared up to enable remote working, and we can now gain access to data from anywhere, at any time.
At PCS Publishing we have always been ahead of the game when it comes to remote working. Our Knowledge suite means that publishers are equipped with everything they need for their employees to work anywhere in the world, and still be an integral part of the workplace.