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Topics: Ethics, Organizational Culture, Resource Management
Will remote working stick?
Once the pandemic is over and many of us return back to the office, will we then make the case to managers that we should be working from home 1 or 2 days per week? It worked during the pandemic right? We were more productive, happier, less stressed, achieved a better work-life balance. Why not continue it?
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Mar 26, 2020 11:34 AM
Replying to Ashok Kumar
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Our generation is moving in this direction. The present scene created by pandemic has speedup this process too. The available interfaces still don't facilitate the level of interaction, as in-person F2F does. I believe we are very close to a point, where remote interface will become normal.
Hello Ashok, I agree with that.
Mar 26, 2020 12:06 PM
Replying to Daire Guiney
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Dear Sante,

After the COVID-19 outbreak I would say that a lot of people will be running back to the office and wont bring up remote working any time soon.

Peoples daily routine and way of life has been disrupted and for a temporary period they maybe happier because of the novelty factor and not having to endure the daily commute.

But after a few more weeks of this new routine you will start to get a sense of peoples boredom and missing the general banter, atmosphere and goings on with working amongsts people in an office environment.

The drinks after work, staying late, work lunches and other aspects of the social environment of work will be the first thing back on the agenda for most people.

Long live the evolution :-)

Daire
Hi Daire, sure, most people need that social interaction. Having the choice between both worlds would be the best I think.
Mar 26, 2020 12:14 PM
Replying to Ed Tsyitee Jr
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There is too much fear based management here in the US. Remote work challenges the power structure in the office. If the manager can't see you working, then you aren't working at all. I doubt it will remain as a policy.

But, if a company continues to say they are looking to increase their sustainable business practices they need to seriously consider work from home policies.
Hi Ed, I agree. Trust was the number one issue (and loss of control) that I experienced in a previous workforce migration to working from home.
Mar 26, 2020 12:06 PM
Replying to Daire Guiney
...
Dear Sante,

After the COVID-19 outbreak I would say that a lot of people will be running back to the office and wont bring up remote working any time soon.

Peoples daily routine and way of life has been disrupted and for a temporary period they maybe happier because of the novelty factor and not having to endure the daily commute.

But after a few more weeks of this new routine you will start to get a sense of peoples boredom and missing the general banter, atmosphere and goings on with working amongsts people in an office environment.

The drinks after work, staying late, work lunches and other aspects of the social environment of work will be the first thing back on the agenda for most people.

Long live the evolution :-)

Daire
Dear Sante,

I agree. Like most things you will probably see a hybrid approach with people splitting their time between working remotely from home and from an organizations office be it a local/regional office or a head office.

This approach could actually lead people to working more hours and longer days than one or the other approach.

Ultimately people will find the environment were they are the most productive and use that for work purposes.

I do not think organization will ever have a 100% remote worker policy as a head office and having a physical presence is it important for an organization to maintain its image and strengthen its brand.

A lot of organizations use their offices as a show of strength, continuity and purpose. No different to days of building large castles and palaces to display power and wealth.

Daire
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Mar 29, 2020 11:03 PM
Sante Vergini
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That makes sense. The company that I managed a transition of their workforce to a home solution still had a head office with skeleton staff and a few managers to keep that image of physical presence.
Mar 27, 2020 5:37 AM
Replying to Daire Guiney
...
Dear Sante,

I agree. Like most things you will probably see a hybrid approach with people splitting their time between working remotely from home and from an organizations office be it a local/regional office or a head office.

This approach could actually lead people to working more hours and longer days than one or the other approach.

Ultimately people will find the environment were they are the most productive and use that for work purposes.

I do not think organization will ever have a 100% remote worker policy as a head office and having a physical presence is it important for an organization to maintain its image and strengthen its brand.

A lot of organizations use their offices as a show of strength, continuity and purpose. No different to days of building large castles and palaces to display power and wealth.

Daire
That makes sense. The company that I managed a transition of their workforce to a home solution still had a head office with skeleton staff and a few managers to keep that image of physical presence.
...
1 reply by Daire Guiney
Mar 30, 2020 4:32 AM
Daire Guiney
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Dear Sante,

This is were the modern office layout has changed and evolved in recent times. As more and more people are being asked to work from home, office space and sizes are shrinking and now open planned offices are more large rooms that use hot desking, wireless LAN that use cloud technologies from an IT shared services provider, Network printing (if available), and communal kitchens, toilets, meeting rooms, reception areas and lobby.

It is very much the mobile office with nothing nailed down and everything transient. This is the current trend and I do not see this trend ending anytime soon.

Daire
It will probably lead to permanent change in a lot of areas and policies. In the US, there is an expression, "How are you going to keep them down on the farm now that they've seen Paree?".

The expression refers to the exposure of a young generation of Americans who fought in World War One in France. Many of the American soldiers were from rural areas and had never experienced the social and technological differences of city life as compared to their small town upbringing.

Once those young men had experienced city life, they were forever changed. Some wanted that lifestyle, and moved toward urban lifestyle. Of course, not everyone. 'To each, his own.' is another American expression. Some businesses and people will retain the older (proven) work environment. Others will note that remote work succeeded when it was needed, and thus is viable moving forward.
...
1 reply by Sante Vergini
Mar 30, 2020 5:50 PM
Sante Vergini
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Interesting perspective John. Returning war veterans are a good example of a culture shock (aside from the schock of war of course) where elements will stick with them as long as they live.
Mar 29, 2020 11:03 PM
Replying to Sante Vergini
...
That makes sense. The company that I managed a transition of their workforce to a home solution still had a head office with skeleton staff and a few managers to keep that image of physical presence.
Dear Sante,

This is were the modern office layout has changed and evolved in recent times. As more and more people are being asked to work from home, office space and sizes are shrinking and now open planned offices are more large rooms that use hot desking, wireless LAN that use cloud technologies from an IT shared services provider, Network printing (if available), and communal kitchens, toilets, meeting rooms, reception areas and lobby.

It is very much the mobile office with nothing nailed down and everything transient. This is the current trend and I do not see this trend ending anytime soon.

Daire
...
1 reply by Sante Vergini
Mar 30, 2020 6:13 PM
Sante Vergini
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Hi Daire, I like the sound of that new reality.
Businesses will definitely need to re-evaluate their remote working policies after the situation stabilizes. Some teams may prove that they can work remotely and be just as effective, and their organizations will have to ask whether the expense of their local office space is still justified. I suspect there will be many teams that return to the office, because co-located teams are more efficient, but perhaps they'll have more flexible policies about working remote and more effective working agreements when team members can't commute.

One thing that's often overlooked, especially for those of us in the IT industrial bubble, is that many, many people don't have an option to work remote.
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Mar 30, 2020 6:11 PM
Sante Vergini
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Hi Wade, hopefully, the working-from-home is available to all who want it, but it's true there is a long way to go before everyone has that privilege.
This pandemic has opened the eyes of many companies to realize what level of work they can & can't perform virtually. It certainly will benefit some of the workforce to have this option (single mother/fathers, etc.) who would greatly benefit from a work-from-home (WFH) option. Companies will have to adapt their polices, but I believe this pandemic will steer a lot more companies to offer a WFH option after this situation is over. It benefits the workforce with having their homelife, and it benefits the company’s cost-cutting efforts. However, I think companies would struggle to get the team bonding that they would have in a F2F work environment. It is not always about the work, that camaraderie...the joking, laughing, etc. really helps cement the trust and friendship of the team, which leads to a higher functioning team. The real test will be if the output of the remote workforce is similar or will the companies see a decline in productivity? I guess it would vary on the company & type of work.
...
1 reply by Sante Vergini
Mar 30, 2020 6:20 PM
Sante Vergini
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Hi James, I researched this a few years back when I managed a full office-to-home migration of 90% of the company's workforce. What I discovered was that productivity and revenue actually rose. There were several hiccups such as some feelings of isolation, technical issues and distractions at home (from employees), and loss of control and mistrust (from managers). But on the bright side, well-being, company commitment, productivity and revue were all up. Only a handful wished they were back in the office; the vast majority would not want to return to the way it was before, and in fact said they would leave the job if things did return to the way they were before.
Mar 30, 2020 1:13 AM
Replying to John Herman
...
It will probably lead to permanent change in a lot of areas and policies. In the US, there is an expression, "How are you going to keep them down on the farm now that they've seen Paree?".

The expression refers to the exposure of a young generation of Americans who fought in World War One in France. Many of the American soldiers were from rural areas and had never experienced the social and technological differences of city life as compared to their small town upbringing.

Once those young men had experienced city life, they were forever changed. Some wanted that lifestyle, and moved toward urban lifestyle. Of course, not everyone. 'To each, his own.' is another American expression. Some businesses and people will retain the older (proven) work environment. Others will note that remote work succeeded when it was needed, and thus is viable moving forward.
Interesting perspective John. Returning war veterans are a good example of a culture shock (aside from the schock of war of course) where elements will stick with them as long as they live.
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