Should we give staff the freedom to work and travel? Rather than commute?

Is there a way, that if we dropped the normal day to day restrictions, we could recruit the BEST talent, from anywhere in the UK and see our businesses explode? It’s worked for Click Funnels, one of the fastest growing businesses in the world… So what can we learn?

All this started from me seeing so many people on social media (usually in their 20’s and 30’s) living free, travelling the world or their continent and making a living online either by blogging, trading, or working remotely… What an amazing life!

Then when I was in the USA earlier this year, I met an amazing guy called Chris, who only works 1 hour per week whilst permanently travelling with his family who owned multiple multi million pound businesses! (I think he must have read the 4 hour working week and taken it to the next level) and he was sharing how he now helps other CEOs break free from their desks!

So, even if we don’t go to the extreme of complete life opt out, could we adopt some of this philosophy?

It’s 2019, it’s only July, and I’ve been to the USA 3 times already (for research) Poland for a weekend away, Spain (to my villa) and am now touring through Tuscany down to Rome and now over to Sardinia and about to jump on a boat (Sail boat) and going to tour the islands.

But the cool thing is, all the way through my businesses are fine and I’m happy knowing I can keep in touch all the way to see what’s going on if I choose too, even have the odd zoom meeting or catch up with the team, which I like, but it wouldn’t have been the case just a few years ago, as the technology or wifi/4G wasn’t there for me to do so.

I also now have quite a few members of my team that work from home too, and in fact I find that they can be hugely more productive than those in the office! Probably because, they are free from interruptions, chatter and all the things that stop our flow

I have an at home graphic designer, social media manager, sales call prospector, FD, HR, and various outsourced administrators, carrying out admin functions and numerous phone answering services too, plus out of hours tenancy managers that are based in Ireland!

To keep everyone involved, what this means is, we now run most of our meetings virtually, using Zoom, because that way, all staff can be involved, and also we have a record of the meetings… PLuS we can screen share and be more effective too.

Then I went to America, to the Click Funnels HQ, a business only 5 years old, turning over in excess of $100,000,000 and only 12 staff in their offices… But a lot more working from home, from all over the world, clever if you think about it, because that means that you have a bigger pool of talent to choose from and cover various time zones.

I’m starting to like this idea…

Then I again looked at my own businesses and I too have started to attract people from other areas in the country, that have or are relocating to Wolverhampton to work with me, but until they do move, have had flexible working hours/locations enabling hem to work from home, due to the distance and family commitments and this has worked really well and meant I could employ people I wouldn’t have normally been able to

As a result of that, I started wondering, where is this going?

We are currently looking to outsource a few tasks to Philippines, they can even answer your phones for you from anywhere In the world now with VOIP, so, technology is making everything simpler and let’s be honest removing the barriers, the world IS literally getting smaller

On top of this, people want more flexibility, freedom, quality of life, so why do we have to stick to the 9-5, tied to a desk rule? Why couldn’t we or a team members have a more flexible approach… As opposed to just X desk hours, and x holidays… Maybe there is a third classification, as in “working from home “flexi” hours” where team members can be at home or traveling?

Of course, there Needs to be an element of trust, and this is why I believe initially, this will come in at a more senior level, and as technology improves, and we get more savvy, it will work through the business

But could this change the way we see maternity leavers, people asking for sabbaticals, overseas employees… In fact I have lost a few really good employees over the years, when their partners moved away and they left to follow them… If I knew what I knew now, I would have maybe been able to keep them on board.

So maybe as letting agents, we need to rethink our businesses to attract the best talent in the country, to consider outsourced workers or even to allow our existing workers more freedom of movement or to work from home/on the move, and see where we end up…

This could get exciting

Sally Lawson