As a result of the change that was required of us all due to COVID-19 employers were forced to run their business with disparate and remote workforces. There was no padding of the process with elaborate change management programs and risk mitigation measures – the change was literally executed overnight.

With that said, many recruitment leaders experienced positive business outcomes as a result; reduced expenditure, removal of commute time which allows for more rewarding morning routines and therefore more productive days, and of course the structure and effort put into thought out, meaningful communications with their teams in the absence of the usual multiple ad-hoc conversations abundant in a normal office environment.

During the same period, new challenges had to be considered that had not presented themselves on mass previously. How do you continue to drive an organisations culture? How do you drive the right performance or behaviour? How can you measure results effectively? How can you motivate and coach team members? How can you see the early warning signs that previously were all too familiar if a team member was underperforming?

But does the absence of a physical workplace mean that all employees will suddenly lose focus, stop hitting targets and no longer work to their full potential?

We spoke to recruitment leaders and customers to unlock the insights on whether WFH is set to be the future for recruitment or not.

“For me, if I can work in the office I will. It’s more of a psychological thing. I like the journey to and from the office as it helps me to plan or digest the day. On top of that, I do enjoy the interaction with other people in the office and the random conversations we have. The comradery is one of the best things about the office.”

Ryan Thompson, Digital Marketing Director, Focus Cloud

“The immediate move to remote working certainly came with challenges for us to address surrounding communications, moral and staff well-being. However, being a business that was born in the cloud with a fully digitised workspace, technology and enabling our workforce to perform productively in a remote working environment was not a drain on resources. Our teams simply picked up their laptops and took them home.”

Matt McColgan, Regional Sales Manager, Bullhorn

55% of respondents stated that once restrictions are lifted they will opt for a hybrid work model, sharing their time in the office and at home as they see fit. 25% said they prefer working from home and enjoy the benefits of doing so, such as no commute, less environmental impact, more productive, reduced costs etc. The remaining 20% would choose to be in the office as much as possible, gaining value from face to face interaction and higher energy levels.

 It’s clear that opinion remains divided within the sector on this topic with strong arguments and cases to be made for either side, along with a series of operational obstacles that recruitment leaders need to overcome if they are going to continue to grow in the new normal. 

Looking back just a few years, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer ended the company’s work from home option, forcing several hundred employees to either move to the nearest office or quit. In the next few years, IBM, Bank of America, Best Buy, and Aetna followed suit. Remote work was seen as taboo, almost an excuse to do minimal work for minimal output.

However, even back then employees saw the benefits of staying home, with one former Yahoo! employee expressing that they were far more productive in the absence of loud non-work-related conversations and coffee invitations.

On the reverse, Mayer felt that these ‘water cooler conversations’ and impromptu meetings were the locations for many of the company’s most successful decisions and useful insights.

But realistically if you can’t trust your team to work to their full ability and produce quality work without you leaning over their shoulders then why are you employing them?

As we navigate through challenging times one thing has become prominent, you have to be able to put your full trust into your team, and with the right automation tools, a remote work model is not only possible but holds great potential to assist your agency in thriving.

In a recent article from Bullhorn the importance of leveraging the technology available to you in the Bullhorn Marketplace to retain efficiency whilst working from home was highlighted:

“Maintaining productivity and motivating your staff to stay focused on the activities that matter when they are not in an office environment can seem challenging – working from home is not a holiday, and you still have a business to run. cube19 helps businesses not only report on activities but also provides business insights so you have the data to mitigate any risks and take advantage of any opportunities. It also offers a suite of gamification tools to help your staff remain productive and stay focused.”

Moving forward as we enter recovery, it’s clear that a hybrid model is most popular with recruitment professionals. As employers and employees are seeing the benefits of remote work whilst missing the face to face communication and energy that no doubt drives organic ideas when in the office. 

As what’s sure to be the first of many, cube19 customers Finlay James and Forum Recruitment shared that moving forward their employees have the option to work from wherever they want.

“As a business, we enable our team to work from anywhere they are happiest and most productive which at the moment is full-time remote working. My personal preference is to have 2-3 days a week from home or the office so I can do the things that are important to me, such as school pick up/drop off with the kids. The key for us is flexibility so life and work don’t get in the way of each other.”

Sam Nutbean, Forum recruitment.

Ultimately, productivity, performance and success aren’t tied to one location – in these progressive times adaptation is key to staying ahead of the curve.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how cube19 can assist your business in its management process, productivity and overall growth objectives, both in the office and from home then get in touch.