Since the pandemic, the world of work has undergone a seismic shift in how it operates. Far more employees now work from home either part, or all, of their week.
In the UK, it is now reckoned that between a sixth to a quarter of employees worked solely from home in the past two years, while more than half have a hybrid working life, operating between home and office.
It can have many benefits for employees and employers. One study found that 51% of employees were more productive when they work from home, and then there are the cost benefits for businesses of running smaller offices: John Lewis Partnership has reduced the value of its office space by £15.6 million in central London as it downsizes the full-time team there, while HSBC recently announced that through hybrid working it was reducing its office space in the capital by 40%.
Undoubtedly there are benefits to working from home, or some version of hybrid work, but there are downsides too. In a survey by Gallup of more than 8,000 remote workers, 32% said they felt less connected to their organisations’ cultures, 30% said there was decreased team collaboration, and 24% said remote working impaired worked relationship with co-workers.
Add in feelings of loneliness and disconnection, and for some businesses there may be the danger that their workforce becomes less productive and effective.
It's worth considering then how important personal, face-to-face interaction can be to keep morale up and create focus, energy, ideas and productivity. But what do you do if your team is spread far and wide and you don’t now have the office capacity to host them all?
Firstly, creating face to face meeting for employees who are used to remote working isn’t always that easy. They often have their own personal routines and responsibilities that have come about from the flexibility you have provided for them and so whether it is having to reorganise child or pet care, or plan travel, it can be more complex than when employees were used to the structure of a nine to five, five days a week office environment.
Then there’s geography. It may well be that your remote workforce is spread far and wide, and so booking a meeting room in London, for example, is fine for some but hours of costly travel for others. Getting the right location sets the whole thing off on the right foot.
It might also be the case that the meeting location needs still to host some employees who can’t get there remotely, so you need to think about technology and staging video conferencing or presentations. One of the great stresses of turning up at a meeting room is finding ports and cables don’t match, or the wifi is non-existent. The meeting could be a bust before you even begin.
Then there’s accommodation. If your team are travelling from a long distance you might want to put them up overnight, or, as a rare get-together having some time to hang out and mix is great for morale, company culture and just getting to catch up with everyone again. Teams and Zoom can be great for ticking off work stuff, but not so good for spontaneous chatter.
So there’s a lot to think about, and these are all important issues. There’s no doubt your company spent a lot of time thinking about culture, morale and how you work together before the pandemic, and it should be just as important after it for a remote team.
Not least because often those that work remotely are usually higher earning employees, according to the Office for National Statistics. Ensuring they are working to their optimum is a good return on investment, so finding the right venue, in the right place, with the right facilities, at the right cost is important.
This is where Roomex can help. Our Projects & Meetings Team can source, negotiate, contract and book your meeting rooms and accommodation. They can help create events that bring your team together and manage special requests such as meals and parking, and ensure the facilities you need to run successful events are on site.
Because they’re managing hundreds of groups all the time, the team have access to the best available rates for you, and the expertise to know what will suit your needs.
That way, you can concentrate on getting the most out of your meeting rather than being stressed about logistics and cost, and it ensures that the time your team spend together is worth every penny.
And using the combined solution of an Allstar Visa business card to pay for Roomex bookings means all your payments, expenses and management costs for the event will be in one place, as well as up to 44 days interest free credit* to pay for it, too.
For more information, explore the Roomex solution here.
*Subject to status and full credit check.