Long reads

How can remote workers get their time back?

Aoibhinn Mc Bride

Aoibhinn Mc Bride

Content Editor, Jobbio

Three years since the start of the pandemic, it is safe to deduce that remote work has become the new normal.

From saving time on commuting to increased wellbeing, remote work has afforded workers the flexibility and freedom to prioritise work-life balance while also getting the job done.

The data backs this up: 62% of workers feel more productive when working remotely and it’s estimated that those working from home clock up an extra four hours per week than those who work in office. Remote workers are also 22% happier.

Unfounded fears

Despite the stats, many large organisations are increasingly insisting their staff return to the office, and workers are feeling the pressure to play the proximity bias game. This is when management believes onsite employees are working harder than their remote colleagues, purely because they can physically see them working. In-office attendance increases, with no benefit to output.

“Employees feel more productive when they are able to do their work in the location of their choice, which is primarily remote, but they believe that being in the office is better for their career,” Frank Weishaupt, CEO of video conference device company Owl Labs says.

“How does that make any sense? There’s a mismatch there, and I think the mismatch is trying to make that leap from the way we once worked to where the future of work is going to be. I think it’ll be choppy for a while.”

Reshaping the future

Owl Labs has always followed a remote-first model, something Weishaupt believes has been instrumental in allowing management and employees to find the right balance: “100% of us won’t be together 100% of the time, is the way to look at it”.

He also suggests that another way to tackle the ever-evolving workplace landscape and allow employees to shape their time at work differently is to implement a non-linear approach. This also moves the dial from the hours a person works to a focus on their output.

“If you are a parent and your children get home from school at 2.30pm, and it’s chaos from 2.30pm until 4.30pm, are you better at spending time in that role and doing the work later when you are more focused and productive?” Weishaupt suggests.

Other initiatives that can work well to counter an always-on culture can include adopting a ‘no meeting Friday’ policy, or adopting a ‘right to disconnect’ policy. This is gaining traction across Europe, with France, Italy, and Spain putting legislation in place to prevent workers from engaging in work-related electronic communications such as email or Slack messages during non-work hours.

“There’s so much that can come from being able to leverage your time differently,” Weishaupt says.

Feel like your current employer does not offer the kind of flexibility you need? If that is the case it could be time to look for a new role, and the Finextra Job Board has hundreds of opportunities in companies that are actively hiring, like the three below.

Senior Principal - Conduct & Culture, BNY Mellon, London

Conduct and culture has been considered as a strategic priority in the EMEA region and BNY Mellon is now hoping to expand best practice to other regions within BNY Mellon international.

Based in London but following a hybrid working model, the Senior Principal will be instrumental in overseeing and forming a holistic view of conduct and culture, promoting appropriate awareness and ensuring that it is properly assessed and measured, controlled and governed. You will work on ESG and DE&I strategy and metrics and chair the EMEA conduct and culture council. View more details about this exciting role here.

Program Manager, GoCardless, London

GoCardless operates a hybrid working model called adaptive working, which allows all staff to work from home or the office in a manner that suits their lives outside of work.

They are currently seeking a Program Manager to assist in the deployment of a cutting-edge compliance operating model. As such, you will be tasked with running various compliance programs and drive programmatic structuring and implementation across the key pillars of the compliance operating model. See the full job description here.

Financial Crime Quality Assurance Team Lead, Starling Bank, Manchester

Starling Bank’s founder and CEO Anne Boden is committed to fostering a hybrid work culture and the company is seeking a Financial Crime Quality Assurance Team Lead to join its expanding Manchester office.

In this role you will be required to lead the financial crime quality assurance team, create weekly operating plans, champion a focus on customer outcomes and regulatory breaches, and be the initial point of contact for escalation of issues and queries. You can apply for his opportunity here.

For hundreds more jobs in companies that support a more flexible approach, visit the Finextra Job Board today.

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