Project Management

Virtual Work: Pros and Cons

Minnesota Chapter

Andrea Brockmeier is the Director of Project Management at Watermark Learning. She has 20+ years of experience in project management practice and training.

The obvious benefits of working virtually are sometimes offset by the many, and often less obvious, costs and challenges. Let’s explore some of the factors that may swing the pendulum of flexible work programs and the choices we make about working virtually.

While teaching a recent Getting Real Results from Virtual Teams class, a student asked the question, “What does the end game look like?” How virtual will our work world become and what will that look like?

The pendulum seems to swing in terms of how virtual organizations want to be. Yahoo and Best Buy are two examples of companies that decided earlier in the year to cut down on their flexible work programs and get employees back to the office.

Working from home as part of a flexible work schedule is only one aspect of working virtually. Even if some organizations are bringing people back into the office, it’s still safe to say that our work worlds are increasingly virtual. More and more we rely on electronic communication mediums to interact while face-to-face communication accounts for less of our work-related interactions.

Concerns abound regarding this reality of the 21st century work place. A recent article in the New York Times lamented, among other things, the challenge of blurred boundaries between work and home as we are increasingly able to work from anywhere.

In our …


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"Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule."

- Samuel Butler