A survey from global workspace provider Regus exploring the expectations of today’s workforce relating to flexible working and performance has found 74 per cent of respondents agreed that remote workers and managers should remain connected via instant messaging apps as well as telephone.
Regus surveyed over 1500 professionals across the UK and found that regular contact is key, and the immediacy of instant messaging is a fitting tool in today’s business environment. Frequent phone communication remains important, with 84 per cent of professionals believing that managers should speak with remote workers several times a week. And over half (55 per cent) believe video calls should be implemented at least once a week.
Another clear message to emerge is that working remotely should not eliminate face-to-face meetings. But this time together can be less frequent. 84 per cent of respondents agreed that remote staff should attend monthly meetings with managers.
When it comes to tracking productivity, results were more mixed. The use of IT systems to track and measure levels of work activity was regarded as a necessity by only half (51 per cent) of respondents. Clearly, business decision makers must strike a balance between staying on top of remote worker productivity without seemingly monitoring every working minute.
“The flexible working phenomenon has been embraced by businesses of every size as companies look to offer working structures that appeal to the latest generation of employee talent,” said Richard Morris, UK CEO, Regus. “Now, the challenge for business leaders is to establish reporting and measurement strategies to effectively manage this dispersed workforce.
“This survey gives a clear indication of the current expectations of UK professionals,” he adds. “However, this is not a ‘once and done’ exercise. Regular assessment of tools and techniques is essential in order to take advantage of developing technologies and to ensure that employees continue to feel supported and engaged. Striking the right balance will deliver immediate benefits to both parties – and to business bottom-lines.”