It’s been just over a year since we announced our Future of Work policy and commitment to providing location equity. The pandemic and its aftermath have caused us – and the rest of the world – to realise the importance of choice when it comes to working: after all, work isn’t somewhere you go, it’s something you do.
But we’re certainly not the only company to come to that realisation. Companies like Airbnb have chosen to go fully remote too, and the sheer fact that they raked in 800k views on their careers page after the announcement is testament to the fact that people are moving steadily towards remote work. In a study done by Buffer, 97% of employees surveyed recommended remote work and 56% preferred their work structure to be fully remote.
Our strategy has been three-fold: work from anywhere, the freedom to choose and cultural unity. One year into the policy and we now have a 32% remote workforce, which includes people who live away from Nottingham, where our head office is based. Plenty more tend to work remotely while still being in the vicinity and, since the changes, many have moved cities, whilst some have even moved countries. We have also hired our first ever international employee – she lives in Italy and we are very envious of her easy access to fresh pasta.
Encouraging every employee to live their best life from wherever they choose to be has enriched Hallam’s culture, improved employee productivity, and allowed employees to prioritise their family and friends.
Remote work is far from a new concept. It has, in fact, been around for a long time, usually being reserved for those in higher-income jobs (Wang et al. 2021). However, lockdown allowed many more people to experience and appreciate the benefits of working from anywhere. It would be unrealistic to say that it’s always challenge free, but these challenges are outweighed by many of the positives; not only does it save time and money, but it allows us to enjoy the ‘finer’ things in life like having breakfast with our families, putting a load of washing on during lunch or just being able to nip out for a quick walk.
The freedom to choose makes all the difference in life and that’s what we provide at Hallam: the freedom to be more than just our work, to provide a space that is free of location bias, to make work more accessible for parents, to make it easier for new mothers to return to work, to enable international employees living in the UK to go back home and stay there longer. Essentially, to allow people to live life on their own terms.
In hindsight, we have spent years building our lives around work and finally, we are building our work around our lives. We’re proud of ourselves for trying to be equitable and for breaking barriers.
So, one year on, how do our colleagues feel about the Future of Work policy? When asked about how location equity and the freedom to work from home affects them, here’s what some Hallamers said:
“Remote working means that I no longer have to choose between work and being present in my daughter’s life as much as I can. I can run a strategy session then take an hour out to attend her sports day. If I was having to commute this would simply not be possible.” – Sara Galbiati, Digital Strategist
“Remote work means I get to visit my family in Beirut next week and continue to work from there. It’s been a year since I have seen my family and this opportunity to spend some time with them is just priceless.” – Amani Majed, Paid Media Consultant
“There are a lot of benefits to remote working but not having to fork out for travel – particularly during a cost of living crisis – is great. It’s also a great time saver! I feel like my relationship with my daughter would be very different if I had to return to the office full time.” – Stuart Lambert, Systems Administrator
“I think working from home completely remotely lets me appreciate the small things. I get to lay down and give my cats a stroke if the day is too overwhelming, I get to greet my partner when she walks through the door. I didn’t know these things mattered when I worked in an office, but I also couldn’t imagine not having them anymore.” – Alex Jackson, Paid Social Lead
“I’ll never get time with my 2 young daughters again and, by working from home, I’m able to see them longer before and after school due to now having a lack of commute. It also means I can take time out where needed for unmissable events like sports day, as Sara mentioned.” – Ben Wood, Strategy Director
And now, if I may add my own thoughts. I enjoy going into the office – except on Monday mornings. I love that Hallam’s flexible policy means I can ease into the week and then go into the office and socialise with the other office regulars. I have the freedom to choose and I choose to go in – and that makes everything better.
If you believe that work should exist to make life better – and not the other way round – then you should join our team. Find our vacancies here.