We are one of the few recruitment agencies in London to have expanded their services during the coronavirus lockdown. We set up our virtual support service in just 48 hours following feedback from our clients about what they needed at this difficult time. We always listen to our clients and we thought we’d share some of their thoughts about how they are adapting to homeworking with you.
Setting up was hard, but things are smoother now
Many of our clients struggled during the early days of homeworking, large and small employers alike. Being London-focused, organising for employees to work from home was logistically difficult. Many commute to London on public transport, so taking home the necessary equipment wasn’t always easy.
However, businesses rose to the challenge and employees have now been set up effectively. One of our clients is a medium-sized law firm based in central London. They called us because they wanted temps to help them support and organise their staff for homeworking. “Thank you so much for the virtual support during the early days of lockdown,” they told us afterwards. “It meant that we were quickly able to get our staff up and running and iron out any problems.”
Managing teams requires teamwork
As a digital agency we frequently recruit for explained, “We learned quickly that we needed to change our team working processes. Many of our staff are working unusual hours around family, and our initial plan to use our usual ways of communicating clearly wasn’t going to work. We needed to be flexible. But we also needed to take a really proactive approach to communication. Things were getting missed. Now we use a few different methods of communicating amongst teams.”
It’s worth pointing out that, in line with what the digital agency says, that communication during remote working must involve conscious effort. Many clients are using Microsoft Teams, but regular Zoom meetings and WhatsApp are featuring heavily too. Seek feedback from employees on team communication and whether they feel fully in the loop.
Flexibility has been important
We provide recruitment services to several financial services businesses in the City. One told us, “We normally have quite rigid expectations, relatively speaking. We’ve had to adjust this. While we have furloughed some employees, we’ve also needed to change how others are working. This has involved a two-way process of flexibility. We’re still reviewing this, but generally, a flexible approach is working on both sides.”
Office support workers are used to the need for a flexible approach. It’s proving to serve individuals and businesses well at the moment.
As good as can be expected
As one client said to us, “We’ve been pleasantly surprised at how smoothly the transition to homeworking has gone. We’re being productive and keeping our clients happy. We can’t ask for more than that.”
This sums up what many of our London clients are feeling. Of course, there have been challenges to the existing situation, but largely, businesses and employees have risen to the challenge and succeeded in making homeworking work.
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