Skip to main content

Despite their mass roll-out during the pandemic, remote and hybrid working are not a new phenomenon for many. Some people have worked for years in remote teams spanning different continents. Others may have worked in virtual companies or may have had regular home working during the working week.

Many parents or carers have requested remote working over the years in order to manage their caring responsibilities better, although there are a range of reasons someone may need or want to work remotely. Technology has been the big enabler for many.

In most cases, these workers have been left to ‘make it work’. And it is often the case that they have not been asked how they have done so or been invited into discussions about how to make mass remote or hybrid working better. This is despite the fact that different ways of working can be challenging and many employers are still in the early stages of adapting to change or may still be resisting it.

“Too often remote workers have been left to their own devices to make the best of remote working, but this one-sided approach means neither the employee nor the employer overcomes the biggest challenges or reaps the full benefits,” says Gillian Nissim, founder of WM People.

WorkingMums and The Changing Work Company have recently collaborated on a qualitative survey of regular remote or hybrid workers, half of whom have been working that way for more than three years and a quarter for more than five years. The majority work for SMEs.

The survey revealed some interesting findings. Over two-thirds of respondents [68%] had not been asked about their experience of working from home to help others who switched during Covid.

There was also a distinct sense of having been sidelined as a result of working remotely. 80% said they had not been promoted since working in this way and 44% had not had access to training. Moreover, 30% had found it hard or very hard to negotiate remote working. The sense of having been sidelined was further evidenced by respondents’ feelings about missing out on information. Nearly a third felt they had missed out on crucial information and most of those who hadn’t said this was because of their own efforts to find out what was going on, rather than their employer’s. 36% felt they were not included in decision-making due to being remote.

Two-thirds [66%] of respondents were offered resources such as laptops by their employers, but 71% said their employer did not pay for things like work-based calls. A third [33%] didn’t have access to technical support.

Respondents were also asked what helped them when it came to isolation at home. Keeping in touch, planning social interactions outside work, and keeping to a routine were popular choices. To keep in touch one respondent had started a virtual lunch chat. Others had created Teams chats and other forums for communication.

Asked what skills they think are needed to work remotely – something that might be useful for recruiters and HR managers – 85% said self-motivation was a vital skill; 68% said independent thinking, and 58% said resilience. 74% said they had honed these skills through remote working and 22% had developed them due to homeworking. When it came to management of remote workers, the ability to communicate was by far the most popular skill they felt managers needed.

So it was no surprise that, when asked what would improve their situation, remote workers said better communication and appreciation of what they do. While 58% felt as valued and listened to as office-based people, the rest mostly didn’t or were unsure.

Yet respondents felt they had developed greater skills as a result of their experience, including more discipline and a greater awareness of their own capability and resilience. Their advice to other remote workers included organizing and planning, having a structure, sticking to your working hours, and thinking about alternative forms of social interaction.

Bridget Workman of The Changing Work Company, who has advised Government departments on flexible culture change and is a big advocate of employee engagement, said: “These workers know the pitfalls and have learned the necessary skills and tricks through their own resourcefulness and resilience.” She would like to see more employers tapping to the wealth of experience that may be sitting right under their noses.

Mandy Garner is the Managing Editor of WM People.

Share this post:


Sally Fletcher
Sally Fletcher

Left us a 5 star review

Sally Fletcher
December 12, 2023

I would highly recommend agilis recruitment to anyone looking for work. I was contacted a few weeks ago by Chris, who matched the skills I have to an opportunity I was unable to refuse. He was professional and knowledgeable, but also friendly and down to earth. With quick response times, he was able to answer every question I had about the role whilst selling my skills and personality to the company before I had even met them. The input form Chris throughout the process, not only made everything easier but also it took the pressure off massively. I am very grateful. Thank you.

Jon Ives
December 11, 2023

Chris has done a great job for me. It's most refreshing to have a recruiter that both understands the role being recruited and listens to the candidate's requirements and concerns. Top marks!

Michael-William Kelly
December 2, 2023

It was great to work with Chris at Agilis to find my new role. He was always on hand to guide me through the process and make sure I was fully briefed prior to each interview. I would happily use Chris to find me a job... although I'm very happy where I am now! M-W Kelly

Eric Edge
October 31, 2023

Had a top experience with Edd. Sorted me 3 interviews with my preference of company, landed a role very quickly after. Professional + Friendly guy, would recommend.

Edna Atkins
July 17, 2023

An excellent recruitment experience. From the initial contact and throughout the interview process, Chris and his team excelled. I can highly recommend this agency.

Brendan Dodge
May 15, 2023

Chris from Agilis recruitment was fantastic. Professional and friendly; from providing the role, to the level of contact throughout the process.

Jen Cummings
May 15, 2023

Edd was great, I had some bad experiences with recruiters whilst looking for a new role but Edd restored my faith!

March 29, 2023

Chris at Agilis was professional throughout the entire process and was always available to discuss any concerns. He also made sure to only flag roles that I would have a genuine interest in. Thanks again Chris!

Mac Beirne
March 1, 2023

Chris Ellsworth was my recruiter and I was greatly impressed with the level of his assistance throughout the process from start to finish. He provided me with job role applications that were personalised to me based on what I told him I was looking for. If there was any confusion, I was always able to contact him throughout the whole process and ask for clarification which he would then, always happily give. Chris genuinely made me feel that he wanted me to get the role as much as I did and helped me with every step on the way.

subhash d
May 24, 2022

I had a great experience with Ed and Agilis. Found me a job which was the perfect fit and supported me along the way. Thank you so much for the support Ed.

Jessica Stafford
May 10, 2022

Had a great experience with Agilis Recruitment. Ed helped me find the perfect role for me in a great business. He also was very professional, cooperative but most importantly, understood what was important to me and listened to what I was looking for. Thank you Ed!

Arthur Guide
February 25, 2022

Amazing experience with Agilis, a professional company. I have no words to thank Edward. He found a great role for me.

Miles Jarvis
February 5, 2021

I had a great experience with Ed and Agilis. It was great to have a recruiter who understands exactly what his clients are looking for in a candidate. 5 stars!

Damian Marchewka
February 2, 2021

Ed was great, found me a job which was the perfect fit and supported me along the way, solid agency

Nadia Mkinsi
May 27, 2020

Laura is a lovely individual and easily the best recruiter I have ever worked with: proactive without being pushy, professional without lacking sincerity, and most importantly, she genuinely cares about her clients. She was incredibly conscientious in understanding my background and aspirations, and matched me with a role I WAS really excited about. I knew I was in good hands from our very first conversation – and I am happy to say I am a month into my new job and loving it!

Dean Rudge
April 21, 2020

I worked with Ed when securing my role. It was a massive step in the direction I wanted to move my career in and Ed was pivotal in making that happen. I liked that right from the start he was not pushy, he listened to what I had to say and feedback and he kept in regular contact without bombarding me, using the most suitable form of messaging whether it be LinkedIn, Email or a Phone Call. I would highly recommend Ed and the guys at Agilis - keep up the great work guys!

Paul Stonuary
March 30, 2020

A really nice team to do with. Proactive, prompt and supportive - just what you want, but rarely find in a recruitment agency.

Chris Harvey
March 23, 2020

Have found Agilis recruiting fantastic. Cannot rate them highly enough! Give them a go for all recruitment needs!

Harry Ray
March 20, 2020

Laura and Ed at Agilis helped me get placed last year, and Laura was exceptionally accommodating and patient, calling me outside of hours when it was convenient for me and keeping me in the loop about everything that was going on. I'm happy with my role and feel like the guys at Agilis really put time and effort into their work -- thank you!

Tarnea Garvey
March 20, 2020

My experience with Agilis has been great. I found Laura to be incredible helpful and always ensured she remained in contact with me throughout my job search. Thankfully I managed to find a new job through Agilis and the company has turned out to be everything that they told me the it would be! 5 Stars from me!!

Alex Dewey
March 19, 2020

Great experience with Agilis. Following relocating to Bristol I’d found myself having conversations with a couple members of the team. I’d expressed how important it was for me to find the right role but also due to circumstance I needed the process to be accelerated as much as possible. Laura was my main point of contact and managed to find me the best role I’ve ever had in what must be record time. I couldn’t rate their work higher and will definitely be my first point of contact when looking for new opportunities. Thanks again!

Harry Rossiter
March 19, 2020