Blog: CIPD Festival of Work (part 3 of 3) - remote working

Tue 11 Jul 2023

Angela Tracey-Brown

Product Manager - CMI

In our final installment of this blog, MOL's Product Manager for HR, Emily Allen, delves into the subject of working online versus working face-to-face and offers her thoughts on the ever-changing world of HR:

Is working online the new luxury?

In my day job I create, own and improve MOL’s CIPD online qualification suite. I am a strong advocate for online learning with the time and cost benefits it brings. A fully online qualification suits certain needs of certain people at certain times, and we meet that need.

I am currently studying an APM qualification online which suits me perfectly. But for some things, when I have the time, I really value face to face interaction. I loved the collaboration with other professionals I was able to have at the recent Festival of Work event. Finding out why others were there, who they work for and what they wanted to get out of the event.

Studies have shown a lot of people will even accept lower salaries when choosing between a flexible and non-flexible option of workplace.

Since Covid disrupted the world of work by forcing us to work at home if we possibly could, employees have realised the benefits of home working and now a lot of people want to work from home, or hybrid work. Studies have shown a lot of people will even accept lower salaries when choosing between a flexible and non-flexible option of workplace.

CIPD talked the talk AND walked the walk here on being innovative and bravely trailblazed letting us have free in-person tickets to the event, while charging £95 for the On Demand online content.

I find this really interesting. The “face to face” option is generally still seen as a premium. But clearly we have got used to the convenience of attending things online. Are we so time poor and used to convenience that we will pay for the convenience of saving the travel/ queuing/milling time? £95 is a lot cheaper than a lot of train tickets so it makes economic sense for businesses to want to do that option. But the buzz at Festival of Work proved that social distancing is well and truly over, and we are enjoying making those connections again.


My final thoughts on the changes taking place in HR

We are living in fast-paced, challenging times. In the current world of work, we need radical solutions to deal with the changes. It is clear from all the talks that managing change effectively is key and should be a key part of any leadership role today. Horizon scanning is also vital – we need to look for opportunities and threats with today’s issues such as AI, working patterns, a volatile economy, and changing social attitudes. Organisations are operating in a sink or swim environment and I predict we will see a lot of organisations close over the next few years.

Work should be a place for good, if your employees are happy, your customers will be happy

As a HR professional, I agree with CIPD's ethos that work should be a place for good, and if your employees are happy, your customers will be happy. The progress we are making in the world of HR as well as society really shone through at the Festival of Work. We are trying so much harder to be inclusive, care about the environment, and care for each other.

We all need the space to really think about things we wouldn’t normally have time to read up on, and think outside the box about how we can rise to the challenges of today.

After all, learning, challenging and critiquing is the bedrock of our CIPD Level 7 Advanced Diploma and what we, at MOL, teach the HR professionals of tomorrow. Our learners today will have some tough challenges ahead to deal with, but they’ll have the skills and drive to deal with it.

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