I have already had a number of discussions with candidates and clients about permanent remote working opportunities since the turn of the new year and, to my pleasant surprise, I have found there are many agencies and brands who are having the same discussions, with some even offering full-time positions with fully-remote working benefits. These conversations reflect findings from the Office of National Statistics that nearly 50% of the UK workforce is working remotely, following social distancing measures.
The pandemic has resulted in many designers and creatives moving out of the inner city. And who can blame them? Why pay for extortionate rent and overpriced coffee when you’re working from home at the moment anyway? COVID-19 aside, there has always been a huge talent pool outside of inner cities, which has been neglected because of location.
With many making work-life balance a priority nowadays, doesn’t it make sense to consider offering fully remote working benefits to your employees? After all, happy staff means greater productivity: a study by Forbes found happy employees to be up to 20% more productive with a 37% increase in sales performance. You can’t argue with those numbers, right?
Most of the people I’ve spoken with recently are realistic that creative positions require being in the office some of the time (not in lockdowns of course!), certainly with more senior or client-facing roles. However, I am yet to speak to anyone who wouldn’t be happy to travel to an office, even with a long commute, if it was for a couple of days per week or on a week in/week out type arrangement.
I feel there is a slim chance the creative industry will ever return to the Monday to Friday, 9-5 (ahem) office hours again. The past nine months have proven that creatives are as productive at home as in the office – some studies suggest even more so – so why not start thinking about how you can attract the best talent for your teams without being restricted by where they live?
I find the discussion of permanent remote working opportunities a fascinating one and time will tell if it will be a success or not, although I am struggling to find too many negatives on the subject at the moment! Maybe remote working really does work, after all.
Let us know your thoughts or give us a call if you’d like advice on the best opportunities and talent in the current environment.
Paul Cordingley is Native Gravity’s Associate Director - Digital Creative & UX. He has 20 years’ experience in the UK and international creative sectors (both in-office and remotely!) and specialises in helping clients build the best digital design and creative teams in the market. For a confidential chat with Paul about your recruiting needs, call directly on 020 3800 1343 or email firstname.lastname@example.org