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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 30, 2020 10:07 AM
Replying to Wade Harshman
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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.
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.
Mar 30, 2020 4:32 AM
Replying to 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
Hi Daire, I like the sound of that new reality.
Mar 30, 2020 5:37 PM
Replying to James Bowen
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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.
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 25, 2020 5:27 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
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Sante -

While we can be very productive with remote working, I will still go back to the sixth principle of the Agile Manifesto: The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.

Until we have holographic presence technology a la Avengers, we are losing some percentage of the overall richness of messages when we work remotely.

Kiron
Agree with Kiron. Just make the maths: PMI suggests a project manager should spend 90%of their time communicating.

Then, about 70% of the we give credence to after a conversation or a meeting comes from non-verbal messages, such as eye movements, smiles, postures... Tone of voice accounts for 10%. The remaining 20% are the actual words.

Recongizing the dramatic continuous improvement in new technologies and platforms that allow virtual meetings, nothing like a nice f2f meeting over a cup of coffee.
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Mar 31, 2020 4:14 PM
Sante Vergini
Mar 31, 2020 5:26 AM
Replying to Eduard Hernandez
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Agree with Kiron. Just make the maths: PMI suggests a project manager should spend 90%of their time communicating.

Then, about 70% of the we give credence to after a conversation or a meeting comes from non-verbal messages, such as eye movements, smiles, postures... Tone of voice accounts for 10%. The remaining 20% are the actual words.

Recongizing the dramatic continuous improvement in new technologies and platforms that allow virtual meetings, nothing like a nice f2f meeting over a cup of coffee.
Or a virtual coffee Eduard:

https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-pos...of-Scrum-fonder
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1 reply by Eduard Hernandez
Apr 01, 2020 3:22 AM
Eduard Hernandez
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Well seen!
Sante,

Remote work is very interesting for all parties. Some corporation has saved on office space for years, first not for remote work. IBM was doing it more than twenty years ago for its sales force, about one desk for two peoples, they were assigned a desk has the enter.

I think the current context will prove the value and limits of remote work. Will virtual meetings replace face to face? I don't think so.

There is certainly a value to remote/virtual meetings. But there is, even more, with face to face meetings.
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Mar 31, 2020 6:03 PM
Sante Vergini
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Thanks Vincent. There are pros and cons to both, thats true.
Mar 31, 2020 5:56 PM
Replying to Vincent Guerard
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Sante,

Remote work is very interesting for all parties. Some corporation has saved on office space for years, first not for remote work. IBM was doing it more than twenty years ago for its sales force, about one desk for two peoples, they were assigned a desk has the enter.

I think the current context will prove the value and limits of remote work. Will virtual meetings replace face to face? I don't think so.

There is certainly a value to remote/virtual meetings. But there is, even more, with face to face meetings.
Thanks Vincent. There are pros and cons to both, thats true.
Mar 25, 2020 5:41 PM
Replying to Peter Rapin
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I will go along with Kiron - although maybe not the holographic thing. We went through this some years back with the "paperless" prediction, remember. Computers, electronic correspondence and filing was all the rage. Yet we generate more paperwork now than ever.
Working from home is a necessity now but will become a fad then draw back to where it was. We are a social animal. We work (and play) better as a team - the total is more than the sum of its parts.
In my opinion, we will settle back to the pre-pandemic levels within a month or two, at most a year.
Personally I can crank out a lot of work and do some deep thinking at home in my den that I have a hard time with in the 'open office' concept. Our organization is somewhat new to the open-office, and the constant discussions and phone calls make it almost impossible to concentrate. I agree that face to face is the best communication, but I am going to lobby hard to work from home one or two days/week, and am thinking that is probably the optimum scenario.
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Apr 01, 2020 4:19 PM
Sante Vergini
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My sentiments exactly Rob. I moved from an open-office environment in my last job to an organization that operates out of an old heritage building, thus closed offices. My work was a lot more productive, similar to that of working from home now. Even before the coronavirus epidemic hit, I lobbied and was granted, 1 day a week to work from home. I suspect after this crisis is over and we return back to the office, that will increase to 2 days.
I think it depends on the industry and the type of work that you are working on. Some companies have been applying remote working a long time ago, before Covid-19 outbreak . I think many companies will try and transform their working model that they have never thought about it.
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Apr 01, 2020 4:22 PM
Sante Vergini
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Hi Nguyen, but the difference is that most companies are now forced to implement remote working, which may increase the likelihood that they continue to allow remote working (even partly) for their employees when they return to the office.
I'm firmly in the it depends camp LOL. Are you in a "solo thinker" role, an innovation role where random interactions trigger ideas and advancements otherwise not found, is the team distributed anyway, will virtual be enough for the extroverts? Someone in our organisation said that habits and behaviors (adaptations?) take about 6 weeks to form. If we do this for 6 months will the momentum actually be enough to prevent us being forced to go back to the old way by those who prefer it (and have the power to make it so)?
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1 reply by Sante Vergini
Apr 01, 2020 4:25 PM
Sante Vergini
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Hi Ashleigh, extroverts are going to find it hard no doubt. Luckily for me, I belong to the other camp. I think the best thing that will come out of all this (from a remote working point of view) is that there should be a choice of working at home or in the officer, that will suit both extrovert and introverts, ways of working, and personality styles.
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