Having the chance to work from home is something that a lot of us yearn for. Taking out the dreaded commute gives us the chance to do that early morning Yoga class, have a little lie in or spend your lunch break relaxing at home.
However, in my experience (having spoken to a large number of candidates about it) it’s not for everyone! In reality, it can end up with waking up 10 minutes before you need to be available, sleepily making a cup of tea and feeding the cat then sitting down in your pyjamas at the computer. It sounds idyllic right?
I jest! But working from home does require a certain amount of discipline. PR is one of these industries where working in a quiet place with lack of distractions is a real bonus for things that require concentration, like writing and planning, so it makes complete sense when something needs to get done. Working from home also makes a huge difference to those of us with other responsibilities outside of work, most frequently a family that requires a lot of attention!
Equally, PR is obviously all about communication, so one could argue that being in sight and sound of your colleagues makes things like brainstorming, team meetings and general day-to-day operations easier.
Some of our clients are purely remote based, with a hub in London for meetings etc. and it works really well for them. Technology seems to be at the heart of their success, meaning that they’re all almost permanently in touch with each other during the day. They have made it easy to share documents, chat via slack or another IM platform and have an attitude that means they trust their employees to put in the hours, without sitting on their shoulders. In short, they’ve basically created an online office space! That being said, they are regularly meeting colleagues for client & company wide meetings, so they still get some time face to face!
For more senior team members working from home regularly has become quite common in the PR industry, but for juniors less so (unless the boiler man is coming). It all comes down to support in my opinion. When you’re still learning your craft and are likely to have quite a few questions throughout the day, it makes sense to be surrounded by people who can help. Being in the office is also a chance to learn by osmosis, overhearing your colleagues chatting about things you’re not yet exposed to and even perhaps getting the chance to ask to get involved.
In my personal experience, working from home is great when you’re in touch with your colleagues and chatting about work throughout the day, but I couldn’t do it every day! Human connection and face to face interaction is super important to me…and if I’m honest I can get a bit lonely!
Working from home can be fab for those of us with families or other personal responsibilities and lots of companies are moving towards giving their staff a lot more freedom when it comes to when and where they work. Letting staff choose when they feel they work best gives autonomy and shows trust, but some people are still pretty committed to the office 9-5!
What do you think? Is remote working for you?