Ori Zilbershtein, chief business development officer at Hyperion Tech, addresses the back to the office dilemma currently being faced by many, and suggests that remote working should be an integral component moving forward.

The outbreak of coronavirus has transformed the way of working. For many, long days in the office are a thing of the past and meetings previously conducted in-person now take place on Zoom. 

Some initially feared that this upheaval of working practices would cause a drop in productivity, but has that prediction materialised? From what we’ve seen, the answer is a resounding no. In fact, output for most businesses has actually increased. 

For developers, product strategy meetings run more efficiently when conducted remotely, as do daily calls with the wider teams. Employees waste less time on never-ending face to face discussions, which often don’t improve outcomes or yield better results. 

When staff work from home, on the other hand, meetings are more concise, team members can spend more time actually working, and productivity increases as a consequence. To see that, you only need to look at how well our industry has responded to the challenging circumstances of the last 18 months. 

The online casino sector has gone above and beyond to launch exciting new products, and enhance existing ones, which can attract land-based and retail customers unable to visit their favourite outlets due to lockdown restrictions. 

Meanwhile, the sportsbook sector responded to the brief hiatus of live fixtures with revamped virtual sports and esports offerings, so it’s clear that working from home did not stop our industry continuing to innovate. 

Recent weeks and months have also shown that employees tend to feel more valued when they are trusted to work from home, thus reducing churn on a company’s staffing roster and saving HR costs as a result. 

Time to decide 

As coronavirus-related restrictions in many parts of the world begin to lift, and offices begin to reopen, managers would do well to bear this in mind. Companies are having to decide on what their remote working policy will be going forward, and those who fail to learn the lessons of the last 18 months could find themselves playing catch-up. 

Employees should be given the freedom and flexibility to work from home if they wish to do so, focusing on their own responsibilities rather than getting distracted by unnecessary meetings with colleagues. This leads to greater productivity and ultimately delivery for companies in the igaming sector. 

That’s not to say, however, that all offices should shut up shop for good. They still serve a range of important functions, such as team bonding sessions, and the facilitation of a convenient working environment for those who don’t have one at home. What must become a thing of the past, though, is staff being forced to work at the office for the entirety of the working week. 

Equally, remote working should not mean that employees should spend their lives glued to a smartphone or computer, even on weekends and evenings. Here at Hyperion Tech, we don’t ask staff to respond to professional queries outside of working hours, unless it’s a matter of urgent and exceptional importance. 

It’s a policy that puts the mental health of our team first, and businesses who adopt the same approach will reap the rewards, including a reduction in staff turnover and a happier, healthier and more productive workforce.