Facing into the first anniversary of when Retail inMotion (RiM) went fully remote it feels like time to reflect. We had been toying with remote working for some time before the pandemic. For example, we had a fully flexible work week, many people took home working days, and we facilitated, where we could, that our employees could stay with the company when they moved abroad.
The pandemic took us by surprise, just like it did everyone. Just before lockdown, most of the company had been working at home while we refurbished parts of the office – they never went back. The RiM Exec Team took the difficult decision to shut the office ahead of the first lockdown. We decided the day the schools closed that it would be too much for our colleagues to try to balance childcare and work. Also, as a global company we could see what was coming.
We turned this problem into an opportunity to launch our remote strategy which is “Remote first with a home”. This strategy addresses the fact that not everyone wants to work remotely and not everyone wants to work remotely all the time. Our RiM DNA is in our building – called “The Hangar”, we want that to be the place of touch points, celebrations, and Team Building. Within the strategy are criteria, processes, risk assessments etc. It will continue to evolve as we become aware of the long term affects of remote working on the employees and the company.
As for those who don’t want to work in Ireland or from one of our international offices, we are working hard on solutions in any country an employee wants to work in. Of course, the employee and the country of choice need to fulfil certain criteria but we are committed to those colleagues who have committed to us; therefore, we are doing our ultimate best to securely employ them.
The pandemic may have forced many companies into a situation they wouldn’t have chosen however with some planning and reflection we can change the way people experience work for the better.