Are we working towards a regional remote working culture?

Written by: Amy Morris - Oakleaf
Published on: 26 Jan 2021


Are we working towards a regional remote working culture?

In the first few weeks of lockdown number one a customer of mine said that the impact of COVID may well have pushed the employment market forward decades. What she meant by this is we are no longer redistricted by the chosen home location of our talent pool.

The interim market has been overcoming this challenge for years in reverse mode. Where there is a shortage of roles close to the interim’s home, they move to where the role is. Maybe I am speaking too early, but I believe we are seeing movement the other way – clients moving roles to the talent.

Our regional business has seen a significant number of roles coming to the market with this flexibility. To put some numbers to it, 26% of the active roles we are working are currently ‘open to the candidate’s location’. The benefits to this are not limited to, cost efficiencies, higher engagement due to a lower commute, a more diverse talent portfolio and an increase in brand footprint. With HR teams continuing being asked to overcome low engagement, work life balance and lack of top talent, it begs the questions why more organisations are not doing this. I think Nick Francis, CEO of Help Scout sums, it up perfectly:

“Think of it this way: Do you think more talent exists within a 20-mile radius of your office, or on planet earth?”

It is not without its challenges. Communication and culture must be strongly embedded. I have personally worked in a regional office as well as head office and therefore have ‘lived’ the differences. It is very easy for organisations to create a Mothership and ‘the rest’ culture with delays in messaging, lack of understanding of their local environments and subcultures developing. We can learn however from organisations that have a fully remote workforceHigh Five by dialpad have suggested 4 top tips on creating a remote working culture.

1/ Choose Tools that match your culture and foster communication

2/ Bake team building into your culture

3/ Create an even playing field

4/ Build a sense of shared leadership

They close with a tip about supporting employees to build an environment that reflects the culture – posters, cups, t-shirts for example.

If the above is achievable, I challenge you to have this discussion next time you are recruiting. Is it possible to open your mind set around where someone lives, whilst possibly gaining more a diverse talent pool?