Across the globe, the flexible working revolution is well underway.
Here in the UK, things are no different and little wonder too. Our small island is home to over 60 million people, and getting around just isn’t what it used to be. So, like many progressive businesses, we at CloudBooking have embraced an agile workforce, which is, in our opinion the only way forward.
The cost to the British economy in staff turnover alone has now topped £4 billion a year; our cities are over-crowded; and the average worker spends 11 weeks a year commuting. It’s no surprise that employees, and in particular millennials, are now demanding flexibility, and specifically the right to work remotely. We are pretty sure these problems are not just UK ones.
Whilst we appreciate that people move on in their career, there are also far too many good people leaving their jobs because they can’t get the flexibility they need to enjoy a happy and successful life.
Businesses like ours have developed the technology to allow workforces to work remotely, whether that means from home or somewhere else–it’s what works for the business and our staff.
So, we thought we’d share our story, and hopefully pass on some tips to other businesses considering doing the same. It’s called practicing what you preach, and we love it!
We have a remote team here in the UK—spread over several hundred miles from the South of England to the Highlands of Scotland.
We have staff who mostly work in the UK, but sometimes when life changes we change with it. A key member of our team wanted to fulfill her dream of traveling around Europe, so rather than watch her leave, we went with her. She continued to work as part of the team, whilst travelling through France, Spain & Portugal. Geography doesn’t matter when you’re not tied to an office, and you have the technology to connect you. As long as she was delivering for our business and our clients, then we didn’t mind where she was located, and she definitely worked from some interesting locations—including a campsite at the base of Mont Blanc in Chamonix, a café eating tapas in the heart of Barcelona, and even sitting on a beach in Sagres with surfers catching waves.
We don’t even have an office anymore because we don’t need one. The great thing is that it also helps us keep costs down.
To keep in touch, even when one of our team is eating tapas in Spain, we use a range of tools such as email, Messenger, VoIP, Skype and our own web based VC subscription service. We talk every day and also, as a whole group every week. We get together at least twice a year for the weekend where we really go for it with some serious bonding. Also, if we get the chance to get together, ad-hoc in between those meetings, then we do. It has engendered a great team spirit, and a loyalty to CloudBooking.
So how many hours a week do we work? 5, 10, 20, 90? Well, it all depends on one’s personal circumstances and specific business needs.
There are members of the team who do work flexible hours and others who work a more standard 9-5, and we even have someone who has just welcomed her baby daughter into the world this year and is still working for us around her family.
We believe this culture of flexibility also applies to holidays or needing emergency time off.
Our approach is such that with a good work/life balance it means we have a happy, loyal, and efficient team. We work hard, schedule workloads, and with no commuting we have more time to focus on our client’s needs. Time off sick is pretty much non-existent, and we are close knit and driven.
In short, we believe that having a happy workforce who you trust to do a great job creates a more productive and successful business, and as we say here in the UK, we are proof of the pudding that it works.
photo credit: istockphoto.com