PARADIGM SHIFT: Working Remotely

May 13, 2020

Bill Blalock


PARADIGM SHIFT: Working Remotely

“We need to take a more flexible approach to both the workplace and the work we do; one that provides us both the physical and cognitive space to harness the incredible power, insight and experience we offer, but focused not on the individual processes but instead on the overall outcomes our organizations are seeking to achieve.” — David Coplin, Chief Envisioning Officer of Microsoft UK


What roles and responsibilities need to be redefined? With the use of technology, many tasks can be accomplished remotely. If that is the case, what percentage of such positions can be performed 100% remotely or onsite, and what fractional portion of roles and responsibilities can be performed with a blend of remote & onsite? How about morale and productivity? Here are some recent studies and perspectives on this topic:

According to one study, remote employees work 1.4 more days per month than their office-based counterparts, resulting in more than three additional weeks of work per year. … One of the most effective ways workers can stay productive is by taking breaks throughout the day.

Cloud based employee productivity tracking – measuring productive and unproductive time is proving to be an effective tool of measurement. Tools such as GoToMeeting, Zoom, Tech Radar or SKYPE  can be effectively used for group/team meetings as well as individual one on one sessions.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told his employees May 12, 2020, that many of them will be allowed to work from home in perpetuity , even after the coronavirus pandemic ends!

States of Play, a joint CNBC/Change Research survey of swing states, finds 42% of respondents nationwide saying they are working from home. Once the economy reopens during this COVID19 period, 24% say they would like to work either entirely or more from home compared to how they worked before, while 55% plan to head back to the office. This survey [April 2020] supports the argument that some portion of one’s position role and responsibilities can be accomplished remotely.

Productivity Results:

Best Buy, British Telecom, Dow Chemical, and many others show that teleworkers are 35-40% more productive.
Businesses lose $600 billion a year in workplace distractions.
Over two-thirds of employers report increased productivity among their telecommuters.
Sun Microsystems’ experience suggests that employees spend 60% of the commuting time they save performing work for the company.
AT&T workers work five more hours at home than their office workers.
JD Edwards teleworkers are 20-25% more productive than their office counterparts.
American Express workers produced 43% more than their office based counterparts.

It is fair to say that working remotely is not for everyone and for every position. I do feel that some serious consideration should be taken by businesses going forward. Company culture must embrace this concept at all levels. Some companies police their employees through security badge tracking. This is disturbing. One survey reported that 75% of managers say they trust their employees, but a third say they would like to be able to see them, just too be sure! Unfortunate!

Employees are to be measured on the accomplishment of their tasks within the company’s expectations coupled with the employees defined goals. Let managers manage and use technology to facilitate greater productivity, employee retention and anticipated results. Periodic team and department meetings onsite are always incorporated in this paradigm shift.

It is time to seriously consider a change!  Let me know your thoughts on this post: