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Working remotely – is it for you?

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I worked with Alternatives before I moved to the UK and upon return, we had no idea that my husbands job would bring us to Galway. I always thought fondly of Alternatives and so hoped that working in recruitment in Ireland again would bring me back here. However, from Galway how would this work?

On return to Ireland, my UK company, asked me to work remotely for them from Ireland on a job share basis. This worked out very well, all systems were internet based, they set me up with a SKYPE account, from which all calls and video interviewing took place and that was all I needed to do my job from Ireland. Feedback from my jobshare colleague, other colleagues, clients and candidates were all positive, there was clearly no drop in service.

This positive experience of working remotely lead me to approach Alternatives upon our move to Galway to see if was something that could work for them. They knew me already which was a huge benefit as it meant less of a leap of faith. I commute to the office one day a week and work 3 days from home. So, not only am I working remotely but also part-time which brings different challenges but so far it is working out very well for both parties. We know from the 2017 Alternatives & MII Salary and Marketing Insights survey that flexible working conditions are incredibly important to employees, and increasingly so. As a recruiter, it is something I am asked about daily and so I can imagine that this combined with high house prices in Dublin will see an increase in requests for flexible/remote working from candidates regionally.

A few hints and tips:

  • Remember that it has to work for both parties: effort is required to attend meetings or events that may not be on your designated day in the office and so flexibility is certainly required. Working remotely is at the discretion of your employer and so appreciate that they are taking a leap of faith, and have confidence in you that you are working and not watching This Morning with Phil and Holly! Work hard to prove that it is working for everyone
  • Daily contact: it is important to maintain regular contact with colleagues. It will serve no benefit for you to be siloed or indeed for the company/colleagues to feel that you are not a member of the team. Pitch in on email trails, instigate a conversation with your team over Instant Message or call your manager to update him/her on progress with various tasks/projects
  • Designate an office space in part of your house/apartment if possible. Turn off your laptop and close the door at the end of the day
  • Breaks: it is incredibly intense and all encompassing working from home. The laptop can suck you in and it can get to 3pm before you realise you have not had lunch. The great thing is that you get so much done! The down side is that you may not leave the house in a few days. Particularly during the winter, go out for a short walk during lunchtime to get some sunlight, pop down to the shop or do something where you meet a living being in the flesh!
  • Be organised, diligent and driven: I think these qualities are pretty important. Working from home doesn’t suit everyone. In my last role I learned about the Myers Briggs personality profile and how extroverts get their energy from other people. Also, where people get their motivation from being in a team – working from home may not suit those types of personalities. It will suit someone who is a self-starter, motivated to work off their own bat and someone who is diligent, not easily distracted.

Without a doubt I work harder remotely than I do in the office. There are no distractions, I plan my day and cross everything off my list (well as much as is humanly possible!). The day I am in Dublin I am keen to catch up with colleagues (those relationships are crucially important too) and attend as many work nights out as I can (tough life!) It’s all about putting effort in to ensure it works for everyone and delivery, of course, is the KPI by which the ultimate success of remote working is measured.

Kristin RyanTalent Manager – Marketing


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