Don’t be a stranger, Swindon’s remote managers urged

By Anita Jaynes on 30 June, 2015

Flexible working is gaining support from senior level managers. In a new survey carried out by the world’s largest flexible workspace provider, Regus, 79% of Swindon workers believe their senior management support the idea.

However, 68% of respondents say that managers require specific training in order manage their remote team members successfully. In particular, maintaining close contact is key. Over three quarters (85%) believe managers should speak to remote staff several times a week, and a similar proportion (81%) think monthly face-to-face meetings are important.

When it comes to measuring the performance of remote workers, opinion is more divided. Just over half believe remote workers should accept the use of IT systems that track and measure levels of work activity (53%) and productivity (55%). But there is more agreement on how workers should be measured; 94% believe outcomes should be used to assess and reward performance rather than time spent working.

Although it’s recognised that managers might need extra training to accommodate flexible working practices, the vast majority of workers believe the effort is worth it. 62% say their sector is increasing the availability of remote working in order to attract and retain top talent.

Richard Morris, UK CEO Regus comments: “With its benefits to employers and workers, it’s no wonder that businesses in Swindon are increasingly offering remote working options to staff. However, the research findings emphasise the need for regular contact between managers and their team members, and the importance of measuring success by output.

“For managers concerned about maintaining productivity, offering staff the opportunity to work from a professional environment, with minimal distractions, close to home can help to allay their fears. Indeed, our customers tell us that using flexible workspace translates directly into productivity gains. It helps to reduce time spent travelling to the office and in ad hoc meetings but also eliminates the inconvenience and isolation of having to work from home.”

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