Planned Resources recruit across the niche markets of planning, engineering, architecture and design, property, and government support. We operate across private and public sectors in Melbourne, Victoria, and Australia. Here, we look at the pros and cons of working from home.
I’ll be the first to say it; I hate working from home. Without taking a poll I would say that I am probably in the minority.
Many of the candidates and clients I work with very much enjoy working from home. The Event That Shall Not Be Named has taught us that we can be flexible, even in companies where it seems unlikely. I recruit for local government roles and around 75% of the candidates that I have placed into temporary roles are working from home. There are roles that by definition you simply cannot do from home – ie parking officers – but even candidates in these roles also have days that they work from home and days they go out in the field.
This has completely changed how we recruit roles. I recently had a role for an incredibly remote local government that would be a 7 hour commute from Melbourne one way – imagine the petrol cost! The role was so short that I assumed we would never find a candidate, however as it was a working from home role we received more applications than I have ever seen for a job, around close to 1000.
The best talent – from anywhere
We put our remote local government client in touch with a candidate from metropolitan Melbourne. Normally neither would likely have had cause to speak, as the candidate would not have considered applying for a role so far away and the client would not have come across them.
This is not the first time we have placed a candidate from a far-flung locale into a role remotely. We have had candidates from other states step into local government roles in an entirely remote capacity. If this proves the office is dead, I would argue, not quite. I don’t think a face to face interaction will replace the dreaded Zoom call entirely. However, there are some added advantages. I have been able to have meetings with candidates I might not otherwise have considered for a role through Zoom, and subsequently put them forward for roles they never normally would have considered without having to move house. The possibilities of this are endless – large tech companies in American will now hire from anywhere around the globe, without you even having to move. The possibilities for job seekers now and in the future is an exciting prospect, with more options and more ability to be flexible than ever before.
The interesting thing that remote working has thrown out into public discourse is what role the office plays in the company of the future. For our company, Planned Resources, the office (when we have been able to return) has become more of a social hub, more about connecting with colleagues, and more about collaboration and partnership. Recruitment is a job that can quite easily be done in a siloed fashion, but yet when we have had the option to return to the office all of us have in one capacity or another. For me, on a personal level, it has highlighted how much socialising is done in the office space, and how integral connections are in the workplace.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows…
If you were a peasant in 15th century England then likely you did work at home – on a farm – and with the industrial revolution, this mode of working began to change into how we know it today. When I was a kid I wanted to be just like my Dad, who every day caught the train into the city. I thought this was the true mark of being a grown-up. Of course, once I was doing this myself I realised it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. During The Event That We Won’t Speak Of my Dad had the option to work from home for the first time in his life – and he was thrilled! I was living with my parents at the time and the whole time he was positively ecstatic – never changing out of his beloved tracky dacks.
And here is where it depends on personality. I don’t like the blurring of home and work. There are a few modes of thought on this, most of which you would be aware of. Work-life balance is the buzzword, indicating that you can somehow have your cake and eat it too, but another school of thought advocates for ‘tilting’ from work to home depending on the needs of the situation. I would probably go more towards this line of thinking. I don’t enjoy my home space also being my workspace, I find taking work calls in my lounge room jarring. Replying to an email while I am putting on a load of laundry feels weirdly unprofessional to me. I enjoy the office because it sets a space to be professional and a time limit. Once it’s home time I get to go home and leave work at work. This isn’t always applicable to every job but it’s personally what I find gives me the right balance. The tilt from work mode to home mode works for me. That being said, I was the only one in our entire office to opt to return to the office full time when we were able. Some wanted 1-2 days in the office, some half and half. If working from home has given us one thing it’s flexibility!
For now, and likely for the conceivable future, working from home is here to stay and I might just have to get used to it – and maybe buy an office chair!
Written by: Tom Banger, Planned Resources
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Planned Resources recruit across the niche markets of planning, engineering, architecture and design,...