Alex Hirst and Lizzie Penny, Co-Founders of The Hoxby Collective believe so. At their agency ‘without walls’ – which boasts 400 Associates in 29 countries and delivers exceptional work for big brands across the globe – there is no such thing as working 9-5.
“The 9-5 model is archaic and outdated,” explains Bristol-based mother of three Lizzie Penny, “with a culture of presenteeism you don’t get the best person for the job.”
Not only does Hoxby’s flexible working platform allow its talented workforce to engage at each individual’s optimum performance time and preferred location (a term they have coined ‘Workstyle’) but the result is more efficient.
“We reward output rather than time spent,” Alex Hirst continues “it is the ultimate unbiased meritocracy; our judgment is the quality of work, the internet is our web of life and as such removes the need for lengthy and draining commutes or unnecessary meetings.”
Alex and Lizzie lobby against the idea that remote workers don’t pull their weight – indeed, 2013 research published by Forbes points to the fact that they actually outperform their office based co-workers – and furthermore, employing a remote workforce negates any racial, ethnic or gender prejudices.
For their Associates, Alex and Lizzie believe that workstyle equates to happiness: Hoxby work fits around their lives, not the other way around. “Hoxbies are happy because they have control and are trusted,” adds Lizzie “, it’s a culture that supports individuality.” Notably, Hoxbies combine work with satisfying wanderlust, enjoying children’s milestones, spending quality time with pets – or simply taking their laptop into the great outdoors.
Remote working is also good for mental health and wellbeing; the AXA Stress Index found that fewer self-employed people said their stress came from their work life (42% compared to 61% of office workers). In a recent survey on Presenteeism conducted by Hoxby, 80% said that remote working had positively impacted on their mental health. (Hoxby members include examples of overcoming PND, traveling as an Army spouse and being able to care for children with additional needs).
Hoxby’s services include Marketing, HR, Admin, Operations, and Finance – plus its Futureproofing division; which consults on organizational design is one of the company’s fastest growing areas. Clients include Danone, Merck, Comic Relief, Deloitte, and NHS.
“As the forerunners of the workstyle movement, our ambition is to change society for the better,” concludes Lizzie.