Twelve Years of Working From Home
Ross Statham, Editor
April 27, 2020
When I left
the military and entered the business world right after college, I wore a suit
and tie to work every day. But fortunately, and after many years, that turned
into "casual Fridays," which eventually turned into "casual unless there's a
client coming into the office". But today dressing up for work is now pretty
much a thing of the past. And good riddance!
I believe one good thing that will come from COVID-19 is a realization that
people are generally happiest and most productive when allowed to work in less
structured environments, even if only for a few days each week. With the
COVID-19 virus necessitating most companies to allow their people to fully work
from home, there's been some lessons learned, both good and bad. I'm the Senior
Partner at a company that for over 12 years has allowed ALL of its associates to
work from home (when not working at a client site). So I thought some of you
might find it interesting to hear what we've learned from over 12 years of work
at home-- and from COVID-19.
The Advantages are Many- and are Measurable:
found that allowing our people to work from home boosts their productivity
significantly, provided we take steps to stay connected with them. Everyone
we've moved to this model reports an immediate boost, and our superstars
have seen permanent productivity boosts of 15-25%. (One of our senior staff
told me, "I can get more done in four hours of working from home than most
people get done in eight hours at the office." And I would tend to agree.)
take about 2-3 weeks for people (and their families) to get used to their
working from home, almost all reports that they and their families really
like the newly-found flexibility. In some cases, we may set workday hours we
expect them to be available. In others, we allow them to use 'core hours'
with agreed to daily totals. These hours obviously depend on the job and in
many cases, the person, and the time zone in which they live and the time
zone where we need them to work.
morale booster. Not having to deal with a daily commute to and from work,
not having to dress up for work, and not eating out every day out are not
only making them happier, they are also saving them both time and money.
The Not So Good:
maturity and drive obviously do better at motivating themselves, setting
goals and doing the work. (Others may require more scheduled phone calls and
measurements from their team lead.
team connected to one another is a challenge. Team video calls can help.
connectivity and tools can be a challenge. Cybersecurity should be an
ongoing concern. For example, security flaws in Zoom meeting software
recently came to light. People need educating about working remotely safely,
and your tech policies need to reflect this.
Some of the
meeting tools, conference call services and even internet service providers
have been overloaded due to the virus. Our weekly conference bridge always
worked flawlessly, but two weeks into COVID-19, it became overloaded and we
had to pretty quickly adapt.
have other things that crop up and eat into their work time, such as
children at home doing distance learning, or the need to care for family
members. Help them work around this
the team can feel disconnected. Calls from their team lead just to see how
they're doing and to offer help are appreciated.
happens after COVID-19?
company, it will be business as usual. But I'm sure that many organizations will
see the wisdom of allowing more members of the team to be able to work from home
more often, even if only a few days each week. I believe, that like dressing
up for work, that more businesses will see the wisdom of allowing their people
more flexible work options- especially those who prove themselves.
Stay safe and stay healthy!
you find these suggestions to be of help no matter where you land, and best of
luck in your job search!
If you found this article to be helpful,
let us know- and share it with others. All the best!
Talent Perspectives: Insights for Busy
Professions is a series of brief articles that help build winning teams,
provide insight on talent and provide organizational development ideas.
The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and are (C)
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