Global businesses and modern technology are fuelling an increase in remote working in Hong Kong, which could lead to greater employee satisfaction and lower operating costs, says recruiting experts Hays.
According to the latest Hays Journal, more organisations than ever before are encouraging their employees to work remotely in a bid to increase productivity, cut costs and improve employees’ motivation by giving them a better work/life balance.
“Rapid advances in technology such as phone and video conferencing, smartphones and tablets are taking people out of the office and allowing them to work almost anywhere, anytime,” says Marc Burrage, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong. “As a result, the nature of employment is evolving fast, changing how jobs are structured and executed. Modern technology allows employees to liaise with colleagues and clients from home, at customers’ offices or further afield in business centres or internet cafes, using the latest mobile tools.
“Of course, when you take location out of the equation you also widen the pool of potential candidates who can be considered for roles, which is particularly beneficial for roles where skills are in short supply.
“Remote working also has the benefit of being more green and time-efficient than traditional commuting, and of course it can reduce central office costs.”
But Hays also offers a word of warning. “Clear guidelines are needed to ensure the change in working patterns suits both parties. Employees working remotely must follow the same rules as those working in an office, including treating company information as confidential and keeping equipment and data safe. It is still important to hold periodic face-to-face and virtual meetings to prevent staff becoming disconnected or less engaged in the company culture. HR directors must also consider how central office workers will respond to teleworking colleagues. It is also worth bearing in mind that not everyone will function well working alone and companies should have policies in place to deal with this.”