This year’s Business Show featured presentations and panel discussions with experts from across the industry. We’ve collated our highlights for those who missed the event.
Young, skilled graduates who have grown up with smart phones and mobile devices, instant messaging services and file sharing apps are bringing a new, entrepreneurial mindset to the workplace.
Being chair of their local kayak club, being close to their families and friends, or running a small social enterprise are as important to them as their jobs, and there is a growing feeling of frustration that they should have to choose between one or the other if they don’t happen to live in the same location as their desired employer.
Meanwhile, Adam says there is growing evidence to suggest that employees in their 30s who have a child or two are getting frustrated and demoralised with the rat race and having to earn ever higher salaries only to pour that cash into expensive childcare and costly bills and mortgages that comes with living in a big city.
Why embrace a remote workforce?
“There’s a massive fight for talent going on, but companies are overlooking a massive pool of highly-skilled people because they are not – or don’t want to be - located in the same place as the office,” says Adam, who was Head of HR at O2 UK when he decided to move back to the rural seaside town of Lahinch on the northwest coast of Ireland where he grew up to take care of his sick parents.
He points to a lack of trust in workers as a major barrier for businesses to establish remote working as a mainstream concept, but argues that remote workers are typically grateful to their employer for the flexibility and so are likely to be more productive on average than traditional workers, and more loyal – especially if they are living in the outer Hebrides or in the Vietnamese countryside where similar jobs are scarce.
With payroll costs typically accounting for a large portion of business overheads, employers may be pleased to hear that remote workers cost less than their office-based colleagues, according to Adam. He jokes that HRLocker would have more remote workers if they “didn’t keep moving to Lahinch after visiting us here".
Adam concludes: “Managers who say they can’t manage a remote workforce are bad managers. The technology is available, the connectivity is available and the security protocols are available to make it happen. There is no need for people to have to go to places for work anymore.”
- Demand for remote working opportunities is increasing from different generations for different reasons.
- Big companies are still sceptical about embracing remote employees but will start to lose out on top talent if this mindset doesn’t change soon.