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  • Mauve

Changing Landscapes and Silver (or Mauve) Linings - What’s the New Norm?

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

Let’s briefly glimpse some positive business insights for the future. Blue skies, less traffic, less pollution, recovering wildlife, cleaner air, less stress, more efficient working. Can we sustain this behaviour? 

Benefits of Working From Home

We are fortunate in that many of us can work from home- whether it’s at the dining room table, coffee table, bedroom, or home office. And we are mindful and thankful of key workers and others who can’t. 

Due to travel bans and lockdowns, most of those who are able to are now working from home. This is a drastic change for many, and achieving peak productivity does not happen overnight. Aside from the obvious eliminated commute time and cost, ‘telecommuting’ can also save money on office costs, provide greater flexibility for employees, remove office distractions, and allow us to spend more time with loved ones.

Working from home (WFH) is what employees want. A recent study showed 80% of remote workers say they are happy with their job, compared to just 55% of onsite workers. [1] In the same study 20% of people were willing to take a pay-cut of more than 10% in order to work remotely, and another study found 21% of people were willing to do without vacation time in exchange for more flexible working hours. [2] 

As technology and business become increasingly intertwined we are now perfectly equipped for remote working, utilising apps such as Slack and Zoom to stay connected. Recent research by our client IWG (International Work Group) suggests that productivity even increases with greater location flexibility. [4]. 

We also stand to drastically improve our natural environment when commuting is reduced. Greenhouse gas emissions could be cut by 54 million tons each year if those with remote compatible jobs worked at home half the time (equivalent to taking 10m cars off the road). [6] Remote workers use less fuel, consume fewer resources, reduce strain on infrastructure, and lower greenhouse gas emissions overall. It’s not rocket science (forgive the quasi pun).

Despite the current state of affairs, there continues to be a year on year increase in companies offering flexible and remote working. [7] It is likely that, as we emerge from the other side of this compulsory crash-course, many firms and employers will maintain a flexible approach to remote working. 

Industries Doing Well and Partnerships

We are experiencing a global shift in consumer behaviour towards WFH and home-based activities. While this means a loss in revenue for many businesses, those that cater to this hermit behaviour are thriving. Companies that provide delivery and subscription services, media streaming, online retail, at home-education, entertainment, exercise & wellness, activities for kids etc. 

A recent BBC article also reports booming sales for bicycles & exercise gear, indoor & outdoor games, home & garden items, reading matter, electrical goods and coffee- since lockdowns and travel bans were introduced. [8] 

At Mauve, we are already engaging and embedding these companies for our new partnership offerings. Companies that offer real, compelling, and relevant value for those who are now working from home, or travel restricted. A dedicated, comfortable working environment is crucial so now is a great time to set up the perfect home office — with some new technology, furniture, house plants and a stockpile of coffee and tea! Now might also be a great time to learn something new be it a new language, an instrument, hobby or professional skill. 

Our clients, engaged in partnerships with brands that offer the above, are already passing on our curated benefits to their clients, customers and employees. The message is simple: Thanks for being our customer, we know we are in difficult times, we have this for you.

Now is the time to retain and comfort your existing clients and prospects, offering value and solutions for this unusual period. Strategic, collaborative marketing campaigns drive customer acquisition, retention and satisfaction - especially when benefits are tailored to peoples’ changing personal requirements. Subscription model businesses also allow for seamless integration by offering discounted memberships or exclusive member content. 

Many workers and now settled into their new working-from-home lifestyles — and many probably realising the vast benefits of the change. Current circumstances are only going to accelerate the previously existing trend towards remote working.

There are also silver linings for businesses and individuals despite current difficulties. Many companies have focused attention on their own customers, forcing them to hit pause on their future plans and product development and instead deliver meaningful and material help to customers right now. Trust is invaluable, especially now, and this can be reaffirmed by partnerships and tailored benefits and reward and recognition programmes. For smaller businesses, partnerships can also drive traffic and increase new and incremental revenue. 

We all have to be agile and fleet of foot as we move forward.

[1] Owl Labs

Date: 2019

Survey Participants: 1,202 full-time US workers aged between 22 and 65.

[2] Flex Jobs

Date: 2018

Survey Participants: Over 3,000 US employees

[3] FlexJobs

Date: 2018

Survey Participants: Over 3,000 US employees 

77% of people say that working from home has improved their overall health and wellbeing

[4] IWG Global Workplace Survey

Date: March 2019

Survey Participants: Over 15,000 business people across 80 nations.

85% of over 15,000 global business confirmed that greater location flexibility lead to an increase in productivity

[5] FlexJobs

Date: 2018

Survey Participants: Over 3,000 US employees

76% of workers said they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options

[6] Global Workplace Analytics

Date: 2019

Analysis of 2005-2017 American Community Survey (US Census Bureau)

[7] Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) benefits survey

Date: 2016

Sample Size: 600 U.S. employees

In 2016, 60% of US companies offer their employees telecommuting opportunities which is a huge 3x increase from 1996 to 2016.

[8] Coronavirus: Six things that are booming in sales

Date: 29 March 2020

By Simon Gompertz and Robert Plummer

BBC News

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