When will organisations learn? When will they realise?
People don’t live in London. They survive London.
Throughout the whole of my job search experience one thing throughout has been consistent. If I was prepared to sacrifice quality of life, I could go and work in London tomorrow. Having such a high level of vacancies in one place is not good for businesses and organisations based there. It is a simple supply and demand dynamic. As supply goes down, costs for hiring new employees goes up and for getting the right employees, they skyrocket.
Speaking to organisations recently, particularly in the Third Sector, they still seem totally unaware of the possibilities opened up by remote working. At best they appear to see it as a way for London based employees to dodge the commute a day a week.
If organisations could break themselves free of this London-centric view, they would suddenly find that not only is real estate much cheaper outside London and the South East of England, but so are the people who bring the skills and talent to the organisation. We work longer (even basic office jobs work longer hours outside of the capital, 37.5hr/wk v 35hr/wk if adverts are to be believed), for less money and from my experience deliver greater efficiency.
We do not have the congestion or the commuting problems the capital face either. In my area, the last figure I saw for average commuting times was 17 mins door to door. No need to fall asleep on the Underground, Train or Buses. During the week we are able to have a family life outside of work that consists of more than getting the kids off to bed and then having dinner.
Why do organisations insist on having so many staff based in the capital or the South East of England? A core may be need there for services to be delivered locally, however, with the advances in communications technology, can there really be any excuse given to shareholders to have anything other than a skeleton staff in London?