April 16, 2021
WORKING REMOTELY – THE NEW NORM?
“The thing that’s been positively surprising to people is that people are more productive working at home than people would have expected. Some people thought that everything was just going to fall apart, and it hasn’t. A a lot of people are actually saying that they’re more productive now”…Mark Zukerberg, Facebook
I often wonder where we are headed! I had a discussion almost 20 years ago about the future of the work environment. At that time, no one wanted to change the status quo!
Current practice is 40-hour weeks, Monday-Friday. Summer schedules by many companies – still in practice today by some –is ½ a day on Fridays. Let us be up front. Not much productivity in ½ day on Fridays in the summer along with the time and cost of commuting. Back then I proposed a 4-day work week and management did not want to talk about it! Unfortunate…
Now comes COVID and we find many persons working from home, not even going into the office, and still getting the work done. In many cases productivity is up. Now we have the dialogue that a “hybrid” work environment might be the new norm – divided time between the actual office and a remote location. And for some, you can do your work 100% remotely. Some process functions and customer service, because of technology, can be accomplished either by AI or remotely. Group meeting can be accomplished via ZOOM or SKYPE.
Without long commutes, small talk with colleagues and leisurely coffees in the break room, many employees are getting more work done remotely. Better utilization of time. Projects are completed ahead of schedule.
Companies, too, are discovering that processes and procedures they previously took for granted — from lengthy meetings to regular status updates — are less essential than once imagined. And though some executives are concerned about burnout as working from home continues, they are enjoying the gains for now.
Where is your comfort zone on this paradigm shift? Remember, activity does not necessarily equal productivity. Being on task is the focus whether in the office or remotely. Is your company evaluating a change? Are you a decision maker that can institute change? In what environment are you most effective?
Something to think about!