Project Management

Do We Need To Change the Virtual Workforce Paradigm?

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

It looks like 2022 is the year we begin to return back to formal workplaces, at least for some of us. But not everyone is in love with the idea, even some employers.

Why is that? Could it be because a new habit has taken hold (we have now had two full years to learn a “new way”)? Could it be because working remotely saves commuters up to two hours per day (over 60 million hours nationwide a day, per some studies) in travel time and around $10 a day in gas (which also lessens carbon pollution)? Could it be because working from home affords many people a better work/life balance? Could it be because employers can rid themselves of expensive office leases?

The reality is this: Working at a formal work site and working in via a virtual mode each have their advantages and disadvantages.

Clearly, saving on commuting time can translate into more productivity and into more free time as well. However, being in a teleconference with dogs barking, kids screaming, pans banging and other household noises can be exasperating, distracting and even embarrassing.

For me, having worked remotely full time for the past two years has been great. The teams I have worked with have developed effective rhythms; built professional, collaborative and cordial relationships; and through the Scrum process have delivered many projects in record time. So, I have a favorable bias toward…

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"Whatever does not destroy me makes me stronger."

- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche