My Take – On Working From Home
The current pandemic has created a heated debate as to whether the “work from home” concept is here to stay or a passing fad. Within the credit union industry I have spoken to several CEOs and it seems that opinions vary greatly.
Some of the CEOs expect to focus on providing the work-from-home option to as many employees as possible. They even plan to offer member-facing employees the option to create work schedules that flow from member-facing positions to back-office jobs that can be completed from their home. They see huge benefits from this concept, including increased flexibility in scheduling member-facing staff, reduced facilities cost, and a better workforce since hiring can now be world-wide.
Some less progressive CEOs are taking the hybrid approach; they plan to offer working from home as an option to select employees, but still maintain a post-Covid traditional workplace. They see similar benefits to their more progressive counterparts: hiring flexibility, better staff retention and reduced future facilities expenses.
More traditional CEOs like myself and some others are taking a different viewpoint. I definitely see the benefit of working from home for the employee. But the credit union does not exist just to benefit the employees, the credit union also exists to benefit the membership and society in general. I firmly believe that successful and content employees benefit from interaction with team members and the membership.
The other argument among more progressive CEOs is the cost savings from having staff work from home. I don’t disagree that there is a savings, but in my opinion the benefits of a smaller headquarters building are nominal in comparison to the shared knowledge and creativity lost when employees don’t interact on a regular basis.
I recently heard a well-known CEO of a national bank comment that work-from-home works from an operational standpoint. In other words, you can operate a business with people working from home. He went on to say that even though it can operate it can’t flourish with employees working from home.
MIDFLORIDA is one of the fastest growing credit unions in the country, and we didn’t accomplish that by just operating. We made this happen by creating a culture, by creating teams, by creating visions and plans, by creating native knowledge and by creating relationships. We have flourished by creating a work environment where people who work hard, and together, reap the rewards.
I have two step-children who recently started new positions. Both have been given the option to work from home or in the office. My advice to both has been to work in the office as often as possible. I have told them to work in teams with as many people as possible in the office. If they have the chance, work with a senior manager on a project.
The jury is still out on work-from-home. I wish those who embrace the concept the best success. At MIDFLORIDA, we plan to be in the office if you need us.
“My Take” is an opinion blog series written by CEO Kevin Jones. Mr. Jones received his Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Indiana University, and MBA from Florida Southern College, is a certified public accountant of the State of Indiana, and has been with MIDFLORIDA since 1992. The views expressed by Kevin are solely his own and do not reflect the opinion of the employees, Board of Directors, or Senior Management, except for Kevin. If you would like to express an opinion regarding the blog or ask a related question, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.