Thorn Baker Industrial Recruitment_Is This the Future Way of Working for Offices and Industrial Environments

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Is This the Future Way of Working?

Hiring Tips, Legislation & Regulation

Matthew Dann Thorn Baker Industrial Recruitment DirectorWorking from home as an Industrial Recruiter didn't seem possible pre-COVID-19. It’s not something we thought we could achieve and even as we went into lockdown armed with the tech there was some fear of the unknown. In this blog, I’d like to share with you what we've found both positive and challenging working remotely as a busy Industrial team.

Matthew Dann: Thorn Baker Industrial Recruitment Director

As lockdown approached we, as a business, invested in technology, took a leap of faith and started to work from home. As Covid-19 has swept the globe I think the glimpse of our future has become even clearer: what started as a few weeks of working from home has evolved into a facilitator for changing how we work and live – what seemed scary before no longer does.

We recently conducted a survey of our own staff to find out how they’re doing during lockdown. How were they coping with working from home, did they prefer it? What had they found challenging, what did they like? Of course, these conversations can be had with someone’s Manager at any time but a survey does allow time to reflect before commenting.

Our results were interesting and have definitely given us a lot to think about regarding what our ‘new normal’ will look like.

Some highlights from the survey include;

  • 91% of people said that they had minimal interruptions that didn’t materially affect their ability to work from home
  • 90% of people said that whilst lockdown remains as it is they would like the option to continue working from home as much as possible
  • 84% of people said that post lockdown they would still like the flexibility to work from home regularly

Thorn Baker Industrial Recruitment_Can Flexible Working Be Applied to the Modern Industrial Workplace

Positives they had found working from home:

  • No commute/travel time to and from work
  • Better work/life balance
  • More productive at home
  • Less distractions/interruptions
  • Flexibility to deal with childcare issues


Challenges they had found working from home:

  • Less personal interaction with colleagues
  • More IT issues
  • Lack of self-motivation
  • Miss the office atmosphere


Covid-19 has really only expedited what was already on the horizon. 

It’s important to look at how we work currently in terms of offices and remember that ‘cubicle style’ offices have only been around since the ’80s. And even before Covid-19, this style of work was already being questioned and its future wasn’t too bright.

In September 2019 The HR Director wrote an article stating that ‘According to the 1999 Labour Force Survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the percentage of people working flexible hours in the UK was 9.5% at that time. Recent statistics from CIPD, however, show that this number has drastically increased, with 54% of workers currently having the option to operate outside of typical nine-to-five office hours.’

But how could this work for people in Industrial environments?

Thorn Baker Industrial Recruitment_Our Top 3 Tips to Help You Implement Social Distancing in the WorkplaceFeeling a slight Nostradamus moment, we starting discussing this with our clients last year and we wrote a blog on the subject, Can Flexible Working Be Applied to the Modern Industrial Workplace?.

Flexible working could be a great solution to social distancing within an Industrial workplace.

What does flexible working mean?

I’m sure we all have a thorough understanding of the term now. There are a lot of ways that you can implement these changes:

  • Remote working: Working from home or another out-of-office location, such as a coffee shop
  • Job sharing: Responsibilities of a role are split between two people
  • Compressed hours: Allowing employees to work longer hours and fewer days
  • Annualised hours: A certain number of hours are spread flexibly throughout the year
  • Staggered hours: Staff members work the same number of hours but can have start and end times that better suit their lifestyle
  • Flexitime: Employees must work ‘core hours’ but can take advantage of flexible start and finish times when necessary
  • Engage for Success have reported that manual and service roles can still benefit from certain types of flexible working – such as compressed hours and job sharing – and 53% of employers have said that they believe all industries should make it an option for their workers.

In our blog last week we shared: Our Top 3 Tips to Help You Implement Social Distancing in the Workplace. If you haven’t read it yet take a look – our data comes from our clients and your competitors.

We'd like to get your feedback and to share ideas, best practices, and general feedback on how you're finding the 'new normal'. What did you as a business see as scary but you’re now embracing? Do you have positives that you can share?

Our survey is open and there’s still time for you to put your view across and share ideas that have been put in place in your business.

Click here to share your top tips

If you’d rather have a chat with your Consultant that’s fine too – feel free to call us or ask for a call back (at your convenience).