The workplace isn’t what it used to be. Office plans are open and agile. Processes are digitised and automated. And the need for employees to physically sit in the same room is dwindling at an astounding rate. In other words, we’re free to work wherever and whenever, as long as the job gets done.
But is that true across all sectors?
Back in 2015, the ONS predicted that 50% of UK employees would be working remotely by 2020. And with remote working growing 159% on a global scale since 2005, it’s no wonder that so many organisations are seeing the benefits of offering flexible working options for their employees.
So how has the shift in the way we work impacted the fundraising sector? And are remote roles more common than they used to be in charities?
According to CharityJob’s latest Charity Sector Salary Report, flexible working has shifted from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have’ in the eyes of candidates. And more charities are becoming wise to this, with nearly 36% of the third sector workforce working part-time (compared to 26% of the total workforce).
In fact, it’s so prevalent that flexible working was even a topic of discussion at the 2019 IoF Fundraising Convention. That’s because charities can’t afford to lose out on top quality fundraisers simply because they aren’t willing to be flexible with hours and working conditions. So, the more open charities are to offering ‘work from home’ and part-time options, the wider talent net they’re able to cast. And though remote and flexible working options aren’t necessarily guaranteed in every charity, the number of remote roles is creeping higher and higher each year.
Since 2017, the number of home-based fundraising roles posted on CharityJob has increased 227%. And though only 5.3% of total fundraising jobs posted in 2019 are remote, that’s up from the 1.3% in 2017, which shows a growing intent to adapt for the modern employee mentality.
Of course, there are a range of benefits for the remote employee – less money spent on commuting and more time for family and personal commitments, just to name a few. But the benefits for charities is even more profound, actually saving money and influencing higher productivity.
Did you know that charities that allow for more remote working options actually have a lower carbon footprint? That’s because fundraiser who work from home are commuting less and are more likely to make their own lunches and coffees, cutting back on plastic waste they’d normally produce in the office.
And remote working can actually improve productivity and morale. When you work from home, you design your workspace the way you like because you know what distracts you and what keeps you in the zone. In fact, 70% of UK workers actually think that flexible working offers make a role more attractive, which is why people who are allowed to work remotely tend to stick around a bit longer.
There are several ways an organisation can support remote working for fundraisers, and all employees in England, Scotland and Wales have a legal right to request flexible working options. The same goes for Northern Ireland, although some of the stipulations are slightly different. That means employers must seriously consider these requests, assessing the advantages and disadvantages and meeting with the employee to discuss how the remote-working arrangement would function.
You just need to convince your boss that you can do your job just as effectively at home as in the office. For fundraisers, that shouldn’t be too hard to do as you can do things like post on social, monitor email campaigns and call donors from anywhere, as long as you have a good connection.
And with so many platforms and technologies available to connect with the rest of your team, you have plenty of leverage to make your case. You can dial into video conferences, share project management boards and respond to staff emails – in other words, you’re not working in a silo. As longs as your bringing in donations, then where you work from shouldn’t be an issue.
And believe us, the benefits are there, you just need to make those benefits clear to the rest of your organisation.
Think remote fundraising might be right for you? Take a look at the jobs available today.