There are more people than ever working in remote or hybrid roles. But what impact will a recession have on this ‘new normal’? News of an impending global recession has many remote workers worried they will be the first to go.
While it is certainly wise to be prepared and ensure you are doing what you can to remain a valuable member of your workforce, it would appear that remote workers could actually help businesses retain staff and save money through a recession.
Since employees were all sent home in March 2020 employees have discovered how flexible working has improved their stress levels and in many cases improve productivity. In fact, recent data even suggests that fully remote teams are surpassing the productivity of on-site teams, with hybrid workforces performing particularly well.
This article will provide a brief look at a couple of key points from this discussion to help put your mind at ease.
Remote Workers Save Money: The Aim of The Game During A Recession
Remote working doesn’t just save employees travel costs. Downsizing office sizes can save companies tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds (GBP) per year. On top of the saving in rent, the cost savings also come from equipment and building maintenance, repairs, and utilities. Even companies which offer their remote workers money towards their home set up or internet see an enormous saving.
So what does this mean for the return to work battle? Over the last few years, workers have gained leverage in the jobs market and digital is no different. In a recession, employers generally look to reduce their headcount. This will shift the market from candidate-driven to client-led with the power shifting from jobseekers to those hiring.
This represents a challenge for recruiters but remote roles could be the way to turn the situation to their advantage. Businesses need marketing, always so there will always be a requirement for digital marketers and working remotely can help cut costs.
Recession and The Workplace Proximity Bias
There has always been a thought that those who seldom visit the office to work and, as such, have little direct physical contact with their managers are more likely to be let go. In the current economic climate, the question has taken on a new urgency, are the remote employees more likely to be on the firing line?
Unfortunately, data on this issue are almost non-existent. Never before have there been so many remote workers. While prejudice against remote workers may not be a manager’s intention, it is difficult to imagine fair treatment when some employees are always physically close and some are at home. Given the benefits hybrid and remote work has shown so far though, it would appear that workplace proximity bias could become a thing of the past.
Good News For Digital?
The digital marketing industry has shown no signs of slowing down, and while we certainly expect things to change as employers and individuals strive to cut costs, businesses are increasingly realising their online presence and digital marketing are vital in growing and retaining their customer base. By supporting remote work, digital agencies can keep people employed while saving money themselves.
Hybrid and remote work is to be embraced and is proving to be a viable model for workplaces now and in the future. Digital agencies can lead the way becoming adaptable and flexible enterprises that can rapidly adapt to new circumstances while continuing to design and deliver services to customers.
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