It’s a question that’s on everyone’s lips - is home-working the new normal?
With the most recent government guidance stating that “office workers who can work effectively from home should do so,” it’s certainly starting to feel that way!
But for a sector that’s already under significant pressure to increase their services alongside declining government funding and individual donations, the return to remote-working conditions could be a spanner in the works for organisations that have only just started to return to normality.
However, remote-working does have its benefits, and as it becomes the new normal could actually help to bridge your charity’s funding gap during lockdown. Here’s how.
1. Home-working could mean lower running costs
It will hardly be surprising that no office = low running costs.
But even if you decide not to go all-in on remote-working and retain your office space, having fewer employees and volunteers about could mean lower expenditure on things like electricity, office equipment and even your charity insurance.
2. Your workforce will feel trusted and appreciated
A happy workforce is a productive workforce, and allowing them the flexibility to work from home – even once the current restrictions have lifted – will show them that you not only trust your employees and volunteers, but also care for their health and wellbeing.
In fact, research shows that 75% of workers say they will be more productive due to reduced distractions, and 97% say having a more flexible job would have a “huge improvement” or “positive” impact on their quality of life – and that was before the pandemic even hit!
Remember, this doesn’t have to be an “all-or-nothing” situation – just the offer of flexible working could massively improve morale amongst your workforce – you may even find most still choose to come into the office!
3. You’ll find new, innovate ways of fundraising from afar
With such restrictive rules in place, it’s never been more important to think outside the box when it comes to fundraising. Thankfully we live in the digital age, which means that online web conferencing facilities such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have made it incredibly easy to run online events from a distance.
You could set up “isolation challenges” that people can get involved in from the comfort of their own home, or ask people to donate however much they’ve saved on their morning cup of coffee or pint down the pub during lockdown! Or what about making the most of your social media channels by putting on a Facebook Live broadcast?
The online world is your oyster!
4. It’s good for the environment
While this isn’t strictly a way to “bridge your funding gap”, it is a huge benefit of remote-working – after all, even if you’re not an environmental charity or conservation group you probably still spare a thought for the ozone layer!
So let’s look at the numbers - between March and April of this year, global air traffic reduced by 60% and UK road traffic dropped by as much as 73% at the height of lockdown as millions of workers skipped out on their morning commute.
With this in mind, the environmental benefits of remote-working are clear, and could ultimately offer a way out of our current climate-crisis – as well as saving your employees and volunteers money on commuting costs!
Protecting your charity
No matter whether your staff are working from home or from an office, it’s still important to make sure you have the right charity insurance in place - both to safeguard your charity’s income and fulfil your legal requirements by taking out covers such as employers’ liability insurance.
With over thirty years’ experience and over 3,000 not-for-profit customers in the UK, we work with market-leading insurers to provide competitive coverage, expert consultation and specialist advice for charities, community groups and not for profit organisations.
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