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The HR Forum

My husband works 'remotely', he works for a tech company whose main office is in America but they have a small office in Ireland. His company have embraced remote working and appear to have happy and engaged staff.

Remote working is a topic that is often discussed now and no doubt has been requested in some of your companies. But it also got me wondering how available it is to HR Practitioners. So as an HR practitioner, are you given the opportunity to 'Work from Home? If yes, how many days a week do you do and how do you (as a company) stay in touch.? 

 

 

 

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  • Hi Ciara

    I've been a full time homeworker for 7 years in an HR position within the telecoms industry. Having acess to things like Skype for business as well as the usual means of staying in touch e.g, phone, email etc, being a home / remote worker actually meant that I could cover more ground in terms of the people I was enaging with right across the UK as well as offshore. For me personally its been a hugely rewarding experience and helped me build on my HR career. From my own experience there still appears to be a skewed perception in some management circles that remote working means that you put your feet up and have an easy life. For me though, I found that Im actually more effective, efficient and work longer hours when I dont have the grind of a daily commute. I suppose the caveat is that remote working isnt for everyone. The transition from a busy and lively office to a desk on your own can be quite mentally challenging. As Ady Howes has stated in his post, there is defintely an art to homeworking but not everyone is suited to be disciplined in the art. 

    • Great points William.

      I'm not sure if homework is for everyone. It's a great question.

      I think it comes down to culture.....I've been thinking about culture and how it applies to remote working.

      There are two cultures. A culture around remote working and a culture around office working. They are completely different.  The problem, I believe, for those in management circles you mention and probably some within the ranks too, is in their mind they are trying to merge two completely different cultures into one by making them identical. That won't work.

      Here's a couple of examples. As I write this now, I'm at my home desk in shorts and a vest t-shirt.  This is entirely appropriate to my homeworking culture here. I wouldn't expect anyone to dress in shirt and trousers to work here in my house. It's just not how it works here. In a similar way, anyone rocking up to work in most offices in vest and shorts would probably be frowned upon. Out of respect for that culture, I most certainly wouldn't turn up to an office with that culture in shorts and vest top either. I would respect the culture I was entering. In a similar way, I wouldn't expect those in the office to pop back through the evening or early morning before 'official hours' to crack on with work. Nor do I think that is an acceptable culture for an office. However, in my home working culture I find that totally acceptable.

      There are many other differences with these two cultures (as well as similarities) that should be explored. For now, that's a couple that spring to mind.

       

      The cultures differ too much to ever be the same...

      So for me, one of the problems stems from people not having the understanding and appreciation of those two different cultures. I believe they are more likely to believe one of these cultures, usually theirs, is right and the other is wrong. They believe it should be the same. The same rules. The same conditions. Blah blah!

       

      What could the answer be?

      We should all accept, and appreciate, the differences between these cultures rather than be at conflict with the opposing side. The teams that most rock it when it comes to this stuff I think are those where all concerned understand, appreciate and work with the diversity of having both cultures in one organisation.

      Just some thoughts outloud.

       

  • Hi there

    Really interesting post, I have prevoiusly declined to work in business units where working from home was not available.

    I thought I would share a study undertaken by ACAS around this topic:

    http://m.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/f/2/Home-is-where-the-work-is-a-new-...

    As a business owner, I encorage working from home if that suits the employee, as long as the technology supports this and they are available for clients,

    All the best

     

    Sarah

    http://m.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/f/2/Home-is-where-the-work-is-a-new-study-of-homeworking-in-Acas_and…
  • Hi Carla,

    The working remotely arena is very close to me. Here at DPG a fair few of us work remotely. In our Product and Design team, there are around half of us that work remotely. Then there's our facilitator team who also work remotely over a wide geographical area in the UK. At DPG, this is my first position based from home. In other positions I've been in, working at home was often an option particularly following long periods staying away from home.

    There is definitely an art to remote working. So much so that Scott Dawson has for a while been running a Twitter chat on the subject and has recently launched a new website on the Art of Remote Working. I'd highly recommend taking a look at that.

    Let me know if there's anything I can help with Carla. I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to remote working and would love to share any ideas that help.

    Ady

     

    Scott Dawson (@scottpdawson) | Twitter
    The latest Tweets from Scott Dawson (@scottpdawson). Writer, musician, athlete, actor, all-around creative guy. UX, front-end development. Moderator…
  •  Hi Carla! 

    Your husbands company sounds very like mine! I work from home here in the UK, we have a virtual office here (for post etc) and then we have our HQ in Dublin and offices globally too (US, India, NZ, Dubai, Canada). I work from home 5 days per week and travel to the Dublin office every 3-4 weeks to catch up, show my face etc. We are all connected online and as a HR team we focus on touching base with employees whether it be over a call, chat or email. It works well for us but DM me if you need any other info! 

     

    Regards,

    Lorraine

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