As of January 4th 2016 we have implemented our “work from home initiative”
Based on our piece “Let’s talk carbon” we found that our workplace literally had staff working 24/7 (comes with the company name I suppose!) servicing our vast client list from APAC, through standard UK working hours then into ET, PT then Australia.
We already had a plan in place allowing flexible hours for our staff to be able to turn up to cover webinars, webcasts and training calls out side of standard hours, finding our staff were still answering emails, calls etc. “out of hours” and to quote them, it just makes our lives easier to keep on top of it all.
We sent out an office survey in November 2015 asking if they had the opportunity to be able to work from home:
- COULD they do this
- Would they be willing to do this
We were very careful not to put too much pressure on our team that they felt they had to agree and sign up just in case their home facilities did not meet the required needs – for example, office is based in the living room which could compromise integrity of service due to back ground noise from pets, children or other family members.
Luckily, we had a unanimous reply from our team and decided to run a trial throughout December, just before we closed down for the Christmas break, we held a meeting for feedback and encouraged our team to speak out on their findings over the month, below are some comments we received:
“It normally takes me 30 – 40 minutes to travel, find a space to park, get into the office, grab a coffee and settle at my desk, and on a weekly basis costs me roughly upwards of £50 in expenses, now I am able to work from home, I actually see my children off to school, save money and find myself settling down at my desk 10 – 15 minutes earlier than I would in the office”
“Although I was keen to try it, I REALLY thought I would struggle to work from home, too many distractions and not being able to separate home life from work life. I spoke with my husband and discussed at length, we set up the desk in our dining room which never got used to eating in except for Christmas and family visits and I have never felt so comfortable, it’s a very strange feeling, being able to relax in surroundings that are so familiar but still be motivated to keep on top of all our webcasting projects and clients. “
As mentioned before we do feel we have a certain “breed” of people in our team, the professionalism to make sure that “their” clients (Not ours, the team always refer to THEIR clients) are serviced to the maximum level we have come to expect from them.
Although, as above some staff members see a healthy saving, as do we as we have now cancelled the lease on our office and have opted for a “pay as you go” space for client meetings, the quarterly team meets etc., let alone the electricity bill! We did NOT want our team to feel like we were just passing the expense off to them, we have offered to help with internet and phone upgrades for unlimited packages, 0% finance of any required furniture.
We still hold our weekly team meets but virtually now, we have found the response and attention levels have not changed from the face-to-face meetings we held, we even get better attendance with the other team members who may not be due in till later that day dialing in and taking part.
To conclude, we implemented this for several worth reasons, saving on expense, saving on carbon, and to help our team expand on their experiences and assist them in giving our clients the best experience they can get.