Take the scenario that an organisation is looking to recruit a person with particular skills and qualifications, but can’t find a suitable candidate within a reasonable commute of their office. Let’s say 45 minutes. If you double that time as a radius from your base, many people would reasonably find a daily commute of 3 hours per day unacceptable. If you double the radius, the catchment area is multiplied by 4. If you offer “Flexible Working” meaning that the recruit visits the office once or perhaps or twice a week, at most, you will greatly increase your chances of attracting the candidate you are looking for.
The office culture will need to support this activity. Co-workers need to forget the jokes and jibes about a sunny day means that the remote worker is relaxing in the garden! Most remote flexible workers value very highly the ability to work at home/flexibly, so are likely to be very productive, and will probably need to be reminded it is OK to take a tea/coffee and lunch break, and even attend to a call of nature!
Henley Management Centre has identified that it is extremely important to measure by output not input. How many times have you seen a co-worker apparently working at their computer, only to find when you take a second look a game of Solitaire is being played or that there are pictures of sandy beaches displayed and they are booking their next holiday! So the manager overseeing an office team must trust those who they manage. Bearing in mind that the level of staff member will be quite high, and / or driven by results anyway, it should not be difficult to implement “Flexible Working”
You will need to provide office infrastructure to support “Flexible workers” ——That’s a given, however, this must include access to good quality broadband, a computer of some sort, probably a lap top, and a good telephone service. This ideally is an “extension” off a hosted (cloud based) office system. A workspace suitable for the remote worker, such as a study / “Home Office” or access to a serviced office is essential. Please note that there are obligations to ensure a safe working environment for all workers including home workers.