Home office is here to stay
By Gloria Sotomayor, Managing Partner at North Hunters, Mexico.
In July 2019, Mexico’s Senate approved work from home as labour benefit with the purpose of better performance, productivity and workers quality of life. (Article 311, Federal Labor Law 2020 )
During my career as a Head Hunter, I have had the opportunity to work in corporate and modern offices in Mexico City. Due to the 2008-2009 crisis, the company I was working for at that time had to close its offices and sent me home to continue working in my living room. The first few months were difficult; from having an adequate workplace, to organize my work and family schedule without forgetting to have time for myself. As the months progressed, I discovered that I had the skills to continue and finish my projects, deliver candidates on time, and even start implementing video conferencing as another tool in my recruiting process.
11 years ago, a crisis forced me to implement a new way of working that today the whole world shares with me. In Mexico, we have been confined for 2 months, where most of the companies moved their processes and activities to the rooms, kitchens and bedrooms of their employees. In recent weeks I have talked with professionals from various areas and industries to understand how they are managing the home office and how it has affected or benefited them. Some have told me that this “confinement” has allowed them the following:
● Create awareness that it is possible to adapt to new ways of working, achieving results at a distance.
● Significant decrease in administrative & operating costs.
● The possibility of continuing training, having the time to take courses and even re-educate in technological subjects to be more competitive.
● Find the tools to be more efficient and achieve the same amount of work done in less time.
● Being able to discover their family environment, re-start forgotten hobbies and even get to know themselves.
But for some others, working at home has been a nightmare and they cannot wait to return to their comfort zone and their own space, as they have not been able to adapt to this new way of working.
All these reactions are the result of obligatory confinement, but what would happen if home office became part of the requirements of a position…
According to a survey made by PwC Mexico in April 2020, 64% of the CFOs surveyed agree that remote work could become a permanent job option. Forbes magazine published in May 2020 that the CEO of Twitter suggested to his employees home office as a permanent way of working, since it has been positive for them to do their work from home in time and in the way that works best for them.
This “adjusted reality” that we are now experiencing suggests that Human Resources professionals must reflect on the fact that we should no longer only pay attention to work experience as the primary predictor for achieving objectives; now more than ever, every effort must be used to implement new recruitment strategies and use tools that measure predictive success, future reaction, cultural empathy, level of commitment and above all, how suitable a candidate can be to perform remote work successfully.
Therefore, let not waste what this pandemic offers us in the technological field and pay attention to those tools that use advanced technology and take benefit of behavioural science and artificial intelligence to make the hiring process more effective.
There is still time left to know what our “reality” will be when we can return to experience human contact with our colleagues and work friends… What is a fact is that everyone who is experimenting doing home office for the first time, must not let their guard down to improve their communication skills, learn to self-manage, have initiative, know the proper handling of technology and develop a global perspective because surely in the near future these characteristics will be basic in job profiles.
Whether we like it or not, the home office is here to stay.
 Alcalde Justiniani, Arturo / Narcia Tovar, Eugenio / Villarreal Reyes, Alma Ruby. (2020). Ley Federal del Trabajo. México: Editorial Porrúa México.
PwC. (2020). 6 de cada 10 CFO apostará por el trabajo remoto permanente una vez se decrete la vuelta a los centros de trabajo. Abril 2020, de PwC Web: https://www.pwc.com/mx/es/prensa/2020/cfo-survey-27042020.html?elq_mid=21468&elq_cid=1550315
 John Brandon. (2020). This Is Huge: Twitter CEO Says Employees Can Work From Home ‘Forever’. Mayo 2020, de FORBES Web: https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnbbrandon/2020/05/12/this-is-huge-twitter-ceo-says-employees-can-work-from-home-forever/#34a97aaa4382