Until recently many employers had remarkably fixed views about managers and staff working from home on anything approaching a routine basis. Some companies have been very relaxed about this arrangement for many years, provided of course that the job in question can indeed be performed effectively away from the office or factory. On the other hand, some other employers (until a few weeks ago!) have been strongly opposed to this arrangement. Perhaps this has been driven by a lack of trust, concern that the `team dynamic’ will be harmed or because the management, motivation and coaching of subordinates is harder to deliver by remote control.
Either way, things have been changing very rapidly in recent days. As we write this, working from home today, it is clear that all over the world people are being `encouraged’ or instructed to work from home whether or not they or their employers want to. Interestingly our IT provider told us yesterday that a major UK distributor of a well known brand of computers had 20,000 laptops in stock at the beginning of March, by Monday this week they had 200! Companies have been setting up their people to work from home at levels never seen before.
We suspect that, when this is all over, many companies and their employees will see the advantage of this arrangement and will be surprisingly receptive to establishing this as the norm. Companies will realise that this way of working can indeed be made to work, perhaps they don’t need so much of that expensive city centre office space and for their part, employees don’t have to spend hours in their cars or on trains and trams getting to and from their workplace everyday, saving a fortune in travel costs along the way. The air quality in city centres has apparently improved significantly in the UK over the last week or so. Let’s just hope the internet doesn’t fall over with the inevitable increase in its traffic!
These days, companies in the United Kingdom are facing a severe candidate shortage. As organizations look for quality candidates to add to their organization, employees are taking newer factors into account when making the decision.
Potential employees consider their daily commute, convenience, and growth prospects before taking up a role. Therefore, you may have the perfect candidate for a job — but they might be simply unwilling to relocate. In such cases, the potential risks outweigh the benefits of signing a contract with a quality recruit.
Is it time firms consider moving jobs to people as opposed to relocating employees?
Regional Differences & Housing
It isn’t news that housing prices differ across most cities. Housing costs between the north and south of England differ greatly and can deter an employee from taking up a new job.
Rising property prices are driving millennials and their older colleagues out of urban localities — further away from their jobs.
When employers fail to cover relocation expenses, the moving expense becomes a strong deterrent for candidates looking to sign a job contract, forcing them to reconsider.
Leaving For Another Employer
For most job candidates, signing a contract with a new company means losing benefits from their previous job. A company should offer a good overall package – apart from the monetary compensation – to attract new recruits.
Offering Golden Hello payments to senior executives who join your firm is one way to help compensate for the loss of some of their previous job’s benefits. But for the most part, companies aren’t capable of completely eliminating the risk of an employee leaving for a better opportunity.
People with families are often responsible for more than just themselves — and often have to consider the job timings of their spouse, or schools for children when deciding to relocate. Candidates have to decide if the whole family can move or not.
Will their spouse and children be ecstatic about the move? The candidate’s partner may also have to leave his/her job to accommodate the move. This can put immense financial strains on the family with relocation costs.
Moving homes isn’t easy on the kids, too. This could disrupt their education with a change in schools. Candidates should also consider whether the district they move to has good schools or not.
Daily Commute Plays A Key Role
An average New Yorker spends 42 minutes each way to work, while in countries like Slovenia even a 30-minute commute is considered high.
According to the UK’s Office of National Statistics, the daily commute of an employee has a direct impact on productivity. It also leads to tardiness and more sick days among employees.
How Employees Compensate
Many companies now allow employees to work from home, at least under certain circumstances. They realize that to get the most productivity out of employees, they often have to facilitate the workforce — for the long-term benefit of a company.
A 2015 study of Chinese travel agency employees found that remote workers were 22% more productive than employees working full time at the office.
Moving jobs closer to people won’t completely replace traditional mobility. Companies must realize the need to assist a potential recruit’s relocation in order to allow them to become a valuable member of the workforce.
Employers will need to address the employee dilemma in accordance with their business requirements. Candidates without children and those who do not own a house are more likely to move and accept a new opportunity.
The candidate should discuss the contract and raise concerns about a possible relocation before taking up a role. So consider your options and weigh a job opportunity before deciding on one!