With baby steps now being taken in the lifting of the COVID-19 lockdown, there is a slow but steady shift of businesses and workers now considering the new future. They are asking the question…. what kind of a world could emerge from the ashes of what has been a public health and economic disaster? And the great news is that it’s not all doom and gloom.
Social media giant, Twitter has announced that its staff will now have the permanent option to work from home going forward, a move that has been met with celebration from UK flexible working and inclusivity campaigners such as Timewise and Scope.
Pre COVID-19, firms throughout the country have been digging their heels in when it comes to requests to work more flexibly, bound up in a mix of red tape and uncertainty about how it might affect team morale and productivity alongside many other concerns. But the lightning fast changes to the way we live and work induced by COVID-19, have meant that employers have had to adapt. Months in to the crisis, and they are realising that everyone benefits from being able to work in a place that suits their personal circumstances and commitments beyond work.
But what does this mean for accountancy firms in particular?
‘Nobody can argue that it’s important for teams of accountants to work in close physical contact from time to time. A sense of belonging and being part of a firm that has great values is a huge draw for our candidates. But does that need to be five days a week? Absolutely not. With the right support and IT there is no reason why the bulk of work undertaken by the accountancy sector can’t be completed remotely and we’re delighted to work with a range of firms who are championing inclusivity and the needs of their workforce.’ Garry Howling, M.D, Public Practice Recruitment Ltd
It’s important for employers to consider the groups of people who will really benefit from flexible working. By offering staff the opportunity to work from home, firms could benefit from the skills and expertise of a much more diverse range of the workforce with working parents, those with caring responsibilities, and people with a disability at last set to find a wider range of roles much more accessible. Not to mention the reduced stress and pace of life for your entire workforce which could lead to lower stress and mental health problems and an increase in productivity and the bottom line.
At Public Practice Recruitment Ltd this isn’t breaking news. We’ve been encouraging our employers and candidates to look at remote working for a while and have heaps of helpful information readily available on our website.
You can take a look at the risks and benefits of remote working, how to safeguard employees mental health when they work from home, top tips for remotely interviewing potential new candidates or being virtually interviewed. We’ve even looked at the most commonly used virtual meeting software and listed the top tips and tricks for each, to make you and your team overnight pros at running online client meetings, one to ones, team meetings and more. The virtual world is your oyster and there has never been a better opportunity for mass operational change than now.
The effects of COVID-19 have been shocking and far reaching, the fight is far from over and the road to recovery long and winding. No one would ever hope for a repeat of what we’ve all experienced but as we all start to adjust, at least for a while, to a socially distanced world it’s so important for businesses to pull out positives wherever they can. And making life easier for the people at the very heart of what they do seems like a marvellous place to start.
Well done Twitter. Let’s hope you’re the first of many.