Welcome to the O2 Community

Has your question already been answered? See the community FAQ's

Business Customers

Reply
Highlighted
Former Staff
Posts: 5,421
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Remote working: pros and cons

[ Edited ]

Hi everyone, 

 

Screenshot 2019-01-30 at 09.46.35.png

On the O2 Business blog, I found a very interesting article about remote working and some of the benefits, as well as challenges, that it brings. 

 

Being at work doesn’t have to mean being in the office any more. Work is something we do, not somewhere we go. As long as we can communicate and collaborate effectively, we can work anywhere. But just because we can, it doesn’t mean that we should. It might seem tempting to equip everyone with a laptop and mobile, and send them home, but there are a few things to consider:

 

Flexibility

Firstly, everyone is different. Whatever the advantages of remote or flexible working, it doesn’t suit everybody. And even those whom it does suit, it doesn’t suit them all of the time. The key is flexibility for both the individual and the work itself. For remote or mobile working to be truly effective, we need to create a flexible working culture and then leave it to each individual to decide how they work best, and find a balance that suits them.

 

Technology or culture?

It’s understandable to think of technology as the route to flexible working, but there is more to it than that. Just as we no longer expect our cars to break down in the way that they used to, so we have come to expect that technology will support us, and enable us to work and communicate effectively wherever we happen to be.

The real hero is not technology but culture. It’s the culture that allows us to work flexibly, the culture that resists dragging everyone into the office for a meeting that could be held remotely, the culture that doesn’t reward or favour the person who is still at the office long after everyone else has gone home.

If we are to embed remote or flexible working effectively we should begin by focusing attention on the working culture. For any organisation other than a start up, culture is deep-seated, hard to change and requires leadership from every level in order the change it.

 

Time to close the office altogether?

It’s worth asking whether the business that champions flexibility and that establishes a culture encouraging remote and flexible working really needs office premises at all. An office represents your brand, for starters, and it’s also an important social hub for your people.

 

In some further reading I found that remote workers might be outperforming office workers, and some more benefits and challenges that come with this way of working.

 

Obviously not all professions are suited for remote working, but is it something you guys have done in the past, or would be interested in doing? Do you think this would benefit or harm your productivity or work/life balance, and how?

 

I'd love to hear the pros and cons to this from your perspective! smiley

Access for You: Registration - Find out how to register for our Access for You service.
Want to chat with other fellow-minded members? Head to our Off-topic section for some interesting chit-chat.
Check out our Priority board for tickets & offers updates, and to discuss all things Priority-related!
Welcome to O2! - New to O2? Find out all you need to know to get started!


If you'd like to take part, why not register? Smiley Happy
signature

Highlighted
Posts: 78,686
Topics: 705
Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: Remote working: pros and cons

@EmilieT

Obviously my profession wasn't conducive to working from home. However, when I went into management and could have a day working at home, it was frowned on.

 

This was due to not having the technology to link up with the hospital...therefore the general consensus was you were skiving! You really HAD to make sure you were at home, in case the boss rang (no mobiles then) and you weren't there to answer the phone!!

 

I do realise we have moved on a lot since those 'good ole days' and if it's been proven to work then that's great.

 

My only real concern in the section 'Time to close the office altogether'..is the loss of social interaction with other people, therefore the decrease in social skills.

 

We had some of our best innovative ideas, when as a group together, we sat and brainstormed issues.

The camaraderie was part of life and work.

 

I welcome new initiatives. Though only if it has been thought through properly and doesn't badly affect society in general

 

 

*The Game Is On*

Most-Helpful-MemberFriendliest-MemberMost-Useful-GuideBest-Feedbacker
Highlighted
Former Staff
Posts: 5,421
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Re: Remote working: pros and cons

@Cleoriff I completely agree that having an office important, it's a big part of creating a company spirit, culture, and nurture more collaboration and friendships as well. 

 

Considering your profession I do understand why it wasn't really an option, and if nobody encouraged remote working you wouldn't feel too comfortable working that way even once you moved into management and technically could.

 

I think remote working could be especially benefitial with those who have a long commute, it would allow for a few more relaxed days during the month/week. Commuting can be quite stressful and spending an hour or two a day driving or in public transport can take its toll on some. 

 

 

Access for You: Registration - Find out how to register for our Access for You service.
Want to chat with other fellow-minded members? Head to our Off-topic section for some interesting chit-chat.
Check out our Priority board for tickets & offers updates, and to discuss all things Priority-related!
Welcome to O2! - New to O2? Find out all you need to know to get started!


If you'd like to take part, why not register? Smiley Happy
signature

Highlighted
Posts: 78,686
Topics: 705
Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: Remote working: pros and cons


@EmilieT wrote:

 

 

I think remote working could be especially benefitial with those who have a long commute, it would allow for a few more relaxed days during the month/week. Commuting can be quite stressful and spending an hour or two a day driving or in public transport can take its toll on some. 

 

 


@EmilieT

I totally agree with that. I know people whose  commute is so long, they hardly ever see their children during the week. They leave before the children are out of bed and when they get home, the kids are back in bed for the night. Not only that, it's stressful at anytime for anyone.

 

I have been extremely lucky in that respect. Every hospital I worked in was within walking distance.

When I did 6 months as a nurse working in industry, my dad took me in the car, as it was the other side of Coventry.

*The Game Is On*

Most-Helpful-MemberFriendliest-MemberMost-Useful-GuideBest-Feedbacker
Highlighted
Former Staff
Posts: 5,421
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Re: Remote working: pros and cons

@Cleoriff It's really convenient you were (almost) always so close to your workplace. I commute for about 40 minutes before and after work, and have recently started working part of the way to make the journey more enjoyable. It only gets me home maybe 20-30 minutes later depending on how much of the way I walk, but it makes for a much more pleasant and relaxing commute slight smile

 

I can definitely imagine that with children in the picture it becomes even more stressful and frustrating at times, so there are some definite pros for remote working! The main thing to focus on, and I think we agree on this, is finding the right balance between flexibility/comfort and maintaining the social aspect of work alive.

Access for You: Registration - Find out how to register for our Access for You service.
Want to chat with other fellow-minded members? Head to our Off-topic section for some interesting chit-chat.
Check out our Priority board for tickets & offers updates, and to discuss all things Priority-related!
Welcome to O2! - New to O2? Find out all you need to know to get started!


If you'd like to take part, why not register? Smiley Happy
signature

Highlighted
Posts: 78,686
Topics: 705
Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: Remote working: pros and cons

[ Edited ]

@EmilieT

Being close to work has it's advantages in terms of commute.

Disadvantages living so close when bad weather hits. I have been asked to work and sleep over on two occasions when snow brought the country to a standstill.

Nurses relying on cars or public transport couldn't get into work, so they had to rely on those who could walk (or fight their way through blizzard conditions)

I seemed to be top of the list...joy

*The Game Is On*

Most-Helpful-MemberFriendliest-MemberMost-Useful-GuideBest-Feedbacker
Highlighted
Former Staff
Posts: 5,421
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Re: Remote working: pros and cons

I can see how living too close was a disadvantage at times for you @Cleoriff sweat smile From the perspective of the hospital and patient care more generally though, it's good to have some staff able to come in regardless of the conditions, it could be disaterous without any nurses or limited medical staff around! Hopefully you got to take extra days off to balance out those unexpected shifts afterwards as well?

Access for You: Registration - Find out how to register for our Access for You service.
Want to chat with other fellow-minded members? Head to our Off-topic section for some interesting chit-chat.
Check out our Priority board for tickets & offers updates, and to discuss all things Priority-related!
Welcome to O2! - New to O2? Find out all you need to know to get started!


If you'd like to take part, why not register? Smiley Happy
signature

Highlighted
Posts: 78,686
Topics: 705
Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: Remote working: pros and cons

I honestly can't remember if I had time off in lieu @EmilieT.We certainly were never paid overtime.

It's not NHS culture to give money or time off when it's due! joy

(They would owe nurses 1000's of hours)

When I was a ward sister, I actually kept an overtime book and when possible, gave my staff their time back when we were less rushed.

*The Game Is On*

Most-Helpful-MemberFriendliest-MemberMost-Useful-GuideBest-Feedbacker
Highlighted
Posts: 2,790
Topics: 22
Kudos: 273
Solutions: 39
Registered: ‎25-10-2010

Re: Remote working: pros and cons

As someone who has worked from home for a number of years, I can say without a doubt that if it wasn't an option, I wouldn't be in the company! Lets just say the offices are un-inspiring to say the least and have far more annoyances being there. 

 

Secondly, a rather important fact that a lot of these reports neglect to say that working from home means you need to have a separation from home life. For example, having a dedicated room makes a big difference to your work ethic having no (familiar and family) distractions around. Which is what I have and it is quite separate even with my various things I have around in there. Its knowing how to avoid being distracted (which does fail from time to time).

 

Flexibliity is an interesting one. Oddly due to the nature of the work I do, its proved more beneficial to the company to have people work from home as a lot of work can only be done out of hours e.g. after 6pm or weekends. Most of the time, there is a more relaxed nature when work is done remotely and less of a got to be out by a certain time attitude compared to being in the office doing similar work. Its not very often normal hours change for me but I do know it works for others e.g. picking up kids etc having that flexibility. But there isn't really a lot of people who adjust their hours to any extreme.

 

Culture wise, I'm on the fence with this. My company at one point actively encouraged home working then have changed their attitude and expect more people to work from the office. Which then reduces the enthusiasm to work for the company as effectively they're forcing a rat-race routine. Personally, I'm less productive in the office environment as as above, the offices aren't inspiring to be in! As for collaboration, being in IT its an odd one as at times its required but really dependent on what you are doing. Most of the last few years, I've been outside of the main work (long story but comes down to what I know so can work that way) so I haven't really needed the social aspect of colleagues and collaboration. 

 

Technology is another hit and miss. Apart from the company provided laptop (replacement cycle which is when it breaks you may get a former employees one or it may get repaired eventually) and a mobile, its really dependent on you sorting everything else out to make sure you're happy. Believe me, spending on a large monitor was one of the best things I've done as the company ones are "to a budget".

 

The weirdest thing about home working is that I've found less people are inclined to contact me whilst at home wheras being in the office, I just end up half the day having people talk to me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highlighted
Former Staff
Posts: 5,421
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Re: Remote working: pros and cons

@Cleoriff

It was really nice of you to keep track of your staff's extra hours and give them time back whenever possible. hugging

 

@sheepdog

The point you make about distraction is quite interesting. For some it's motivating and inspiring to have conversations and bounce ideas off each other constantly but I found that generally having people walking or talking around is distracting. It's very much, I think, an individual preference, which is why it's great when companies can be flexible and let their employees work the way that is best for them personally. However I imagine the bigger the company, the harder it is to offer flexibility to all -could that be why your company's position on remote working changed? 

Access for You: Registration - Find out how to register for our Access for You service.
Want to chat with other fellow-minded members? Head to our Off-topic section for some interesting chit-chat.
Check out our Priority board for tickets & offers updates, and to discuss all things Priority-related!
Welcome to O2! - New to O2? Find out all you need to know to get started!


If you'd like to take part, why not register? Smiley Happy
signature