Kim Ritchie

With the ever-changing technology in the market and the easy access to laptops, tablets and smartphones the face of the traditional workforce has changed dramatically in the last few years.

With traffic and parking becoming an ever increasing problem in most cities, the expectation to commute to the office and back home again only to repeat the journey again the next day and then the idea of sitting at your desk day in and day out is not only unappealing to many in the workforce but also becoming a thing of the past for many progressive organisations.

If like me, you work in a services based organisation you are often dealing with CEO’s, Directors and Managers who themselves work part time or remotely and are working from their home office whilst juggling kids and other business interests.  With the wide availability of wireless and internet enabled products, you are able to conduct client meetings, present pitches and proposals and take phone calls in any location, basically your office can be where you want it to be.

Kims Photo blog

Whilst this is giving organisations and staff unlimited flexibility – a recent Mobile Workforce Report conducted by iPass Inc., found that 60 percent of “mobile employees” are reported to work 50 plus hours per week also including weekend days (which is the most popular time to work remotely).  This report also demonstrates the resourcefulness of these employees in doing whatever it takes to get connected and get the job done often working late into the night.  The downside is longer hours can potentially lead to a different kind of stress.

Does giving staff flexibility and mobility work?  At Eden Ritchie we have put this to the test several times in the last few years with excellent results.  We have a core group of staff who work from home providing services to our client base with minimal fuss, this is mixed with a couple of days in the office to work with the rest of the team and keep a handle on what is going on in the rest of the business.  This way of thinking and the changes to our traditional business model have given us access to a broader range of skills and potential staff when we are in the market recruiting.  As this has proven so successful for us, we are often advising organisations to think about this approach in their own business – but as most things that are regarded as “radical” or “out of the box” it is viewed with skepticism and negativity – with the same old comments “that wouldn’t work in our business”.

With the ongoing battle to attract and retain A1 staff to organsiations, we often hear from employers that they offer flexibility and work/life balance – but do they offer what the employees really want?  It is time for the broader business community to WALK THE WALK not just TALK THE TALK when it comes to developing a mobile workforce.

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About Eden Ritchie Recruitment

We are a Brisbane business developed with the needs of the Queensland market in mind. Being locally owned and operated ensures that we are committed to playing our part in growing the Queensland economy. Eden Ritchie Recruitment was established in March 1996 by Kim Ritchie and Justine Eden, whose combined recruitment industry experience exceeds 40 years. Since its inception Eden Ritchie Recruitment has gone from strength to strength. Why? For the same reason all good businesses succeed; ability, commitment, dedication, self-belief and tenacity. However more important than all of these necessary attributes, there exists the innate understanding that to succeed in this competitive market, we must constantly adapt and recast ourselves to ensure our continuous alignment with the needs of both employers and candidates. We believe that ‘focused’ is the word that best describes our approach to all aspects of the recruitment profession. Our mission statement: To provide a professional, individually tailored recruitment service to both employers and candidates through the development of long term relationships and an understanding of market demands.


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  3. It’s a great idea when implemented properly on both sides. I am currently working from home on Mondays and Fridays. No commute or parking problems. And I seem to get more done. The company actually visits your home office and gives advice and an allowance to help. That’s why they are ranked one of the best companies to work for in the U.S. and they save on office costs too. A win / win.


  4. The biggest killer to it happening here is the attitude about the home workplace and the requirements to meet workplace health and safety requirements. It’s just easier for an organisation to say no. I find the idea appalling that people can sue for their own failing to manage themselves as happened in one organisation. Self assessment should be adequate, and if an employee happens to hurt themselves, compo should not be applied in the same way. Slipping down your stairs while working from home at your own choosing should not constitute a WHS issue. As long as that sort of elephant is in the room don’t expect any great uptake in the public sector. It takes leadership to have it work


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