The latest Project Positivity Podcast comes with an exciting twist, as our CEO Marc Astley hosts a special take-over episode on ‘The Future of Home Working?’. The episode features a panel of industry experts, CEO of Jurassic Fibre Michael Maltby, Director of Commissioning HR Alison Lambert, Managing Director of King Recruit Helen Plumridge  and Managing Director of Timewade Julian Wills. 

The guests discuss how businesses have adapted to home working, during the Covid-19 pandemic, and consider the long-term impact of working from home, reflecting on what it means for technology, employee well-being and business. 

Here is a summary of the panel’s views, regarding the impact of the lockdown on employers and employees, and their predictions for the future of homeworking, as restrictions lift and we contemplate a return to office working. 

Home working has highlighted shortcomings and skills shortages among team members

Alison (Commissioning HR) suggests that working from home makes it more difficult for staff to “blend in to the crowd”. From a HR perspective, this can help managers identify areas for improvement and skills shortages. 

Working from home may have a negative impact on creativity

The guests discussed how working in separate locations could hinder collaboration and, for creative industries, this could have an impact. 

Home working can allow employers to obtain more talent

Helen (King recruit) said that implementing a culture of home working is an extremely attractive proposition to employees, looking for flexibility, and allows a business to select talent from a wider pool, including candidates with childcare responsibilities.

Employers can source talent from further afield

Helen (King Recruit) suggests that an increase in remote working removes physical barriers, allowing companies to search further afield and even globally to find the right candidate for their company, something which Michael Maltby (Jurassic Fibre) has been doing to expand his team. 

Remote working can pose threats to security

During the Covid-19 crisis, there have been a record number of cyber-attacks on businesses, often SMEs, as hackers see them as easy targets. Julian Wills (Timewade) stresses that hackers pose a bigger threat than ever before and that SMEs must take the threat seriously. 

Lockdown has created challenges, in terms of HR

How do you make everyone feel like they are part of a team when working apart? Alison highlights that now, more than ever, employers need to treat their staff as individuals. Old HR techniques may no longer be applicable and a greater focus needs to be placed on employee wellbeing. 

Home working can benefit cash-flow

Some businesses may see long-term home working as a way to reduce overheads and save money. 

A reliable broadband connection is more important than ever

Michael (Jurassic Fibre) points out that as people’s lifestyle and livelihood become more dependent on the internet, a dependable broadband connection is more important than ever and Julian (Timewade) suggests that businesses with a Technology strategy will find it easier to adapt. However, the human element and staff well-being must not be overlooked when making long-term decisions.

Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack have become hugely popular

There has been a dramatic increase in the use of online meeting and collaboration tools, in fact, Microsoft Teams’ five year growth plan objectives were met within a month. Will we continue to rely on these technologies and work from home? With so much to consider and so much unknown, only time will tell. Michael Maltby (Jurassic Fibre) highlights the need for people to have a reliable, ultrafast broadband at home so they are able to efficiently work from home as they would at work. 

Listen to the full podcast here:

There are 13 Project Positivity episodes, featuring a psychologist, blogger, charity workers and much more! If you’re looking for more business inspiration check out the other Project Positivity episodes on Spotify or iTunes.