It’s still too early to say definitively whether, post COVID-19, Working from Home will be accepted as a new norm. However, there is already strong evidence that it can work well, and that executives and executive teams can be productive, communicative and generally effective when working remotely.
Speaking to our clients, there are different perspectives on this. One Hiring Manager pipelining for senior finance roles in a pharmaceutical company was adamant that three and ideally four days per week in the office would be essential. One of our TA contacts in another client was engaged in persuading hiring managers that they needed to be much more flexible towards home working.
Furthermore, there are different stories about whether people are working harder and longer from home than they would do in the office. Some maintain it’s hard to switch off when home and work time are rolled into one, and yearn to re-establish their journey to and from work to effectively demarcate between the two modes. Others say they can concentrate better at home and that they are genuinely more productive, adding that (often) unproductive commuting time is also released back to them.
As and when offices can re-open, how will companies handle this? Will people be allowed to make their own decisions as to where they work, or will there be a pressure to go to the office? If the latter, why, because we’ve all proven we can do it just as effectively remotely? And what about peer pressure? Working from home is cool when everyone is at home, but what if the majority is back in the workplace?
Henley’s own experience of home working has been a really positive one. The team has responded really well and we are productive and communicative. Will we, should we, return to the office? There is no pressing need at the moment, that’s for sure; keeping people safe is the priority.
The world of senior level Talent Acquisition will surely change post COVID-19, and our view is that those companies prepared to embrace home working across a whole range of roles will be sending out a message that some outstanding potential candidates will find very much to their liking.