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Hands up... Ping pong in the office or working from home in your Calvins?

By Mark Walker

The recruitment industry is right up there with all those tech start-ups when it comes to transforming their offices into a 'fun' place to be - with the hope it will increase 'culture' productivity and ultimately profits.

In my experience, the recruitment industry has woken up to flex working, but is it ready for having remote teams dotted around the country? Some would argue you need the sales culture running through the office ie. bell ringing, placement song, back slapping blah blah blah and of course, you need to learn off your colleagues around you.

This is counteracted by the number of businesses working off mobiles rather than landlines, meaning most calls are made from the ping pong table rather than sat on pods with their colleagues, so collaboration and learning from colleagues is also on the decline.

I’m torn on this one, as I love working in an office with some pretty crazy and highly entertaining colleagues who I would miss if I wasn’t in the office. However, I also agree with this article which talks about the significant increase in people that feel they can be more productive working from home.

As with most things in life, it is about balance (something a lot of recruiters find hard to achieve, whether in work or personal life!) and I strongly believe that if you give recruiters the choice to work from home they will initially embrace it and think their dreams have come true. In reality, I think the majority of recruiters would spend the first few days to a week at home loving the fact they don’t have to face the dreaded commute and kicking back mainly watching Jezza Kyle in their pants and doing a bit of work (the KPI’s will take a hammering). The second week will be filled with Phil and Holly, but as the week draws on, the KPI’s will improve and productivity will increase. Meanwhile the office remains deserted and the owners of the business wondering why they are paying huge rent for the office space.

As we approach the end of the second week, I think most businesses would see people starting to appear back in the office, especially on a Thursday/Friday when they feel like they're missing out on messy nights out with the team!

Gradually I think a balance would be reached and you might find people working 1 or 2 days a week from home, saving the cost/hassle of the commute and increasing their time management skills and productivity. The advantage to the business is that they can quickly work out who's to be trusted, because if they can’t trust the people in the business then there's different questions to be asked...

I have to wonder why company founders are trying so hard with these in-office "perks." I get that the goal is to create collaboration and fun. But I think this is doing more harm than good. And research shows that the problem is only getting worse. In fact, one study found that the number of people who say they cannot concentrate at their desk has increased by 16 percent since 2008. Also startling: The number of workers who say they do not have access to quiet places to do focused work is up by 13 percent.

Read the original article here
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