In the middle of a global pandemic, all of us who can are advised to work from home.  Many of us have worked remotely for a while now.  Whether traveling, dealing with sick children, avoiding traffic or dealing with a natural disaster remote management has become part of our business DNA.

Yet, this pundit was a bit surprised at some of the social chatter about working from home for extended periods.  After all, I have been working remotely for decades.  Turns out, these fears have a basis in fact.

It appears there are two culprits at work here.  First is our individual behaviors and secondly, there are serious productivity concerns.

First Culprit

A day or two, here and their remote working is fine.  Things can change however; when it becomes a way of life and not everyone is well suited to labor this way.

While it all sounds good on paper, working as an individual remotely is a difficult thing to do.  Humans are social beings.  Most of us need to interact with others; daily.

The concept of working in my ‘underwear’ is not sustainable.  Like all aspects of life, a structured process is required.  First of all, ‘get up, clean up, and dress up.’  This is not the weekend where you check the odd email or holiday where you do the same on a beach with an umbrella drink.

It is your job, the source of your income and often self-worth.  The risks to both of these is high when working remotely.

While not directly on this topic.  This is one of the best videos on motivation and focus.  Well worth your time to view it.

Working at home requires discipline as well as your ‘in office’ work ethic.  Challenge will be to sustain this effort.

Second Culprit

Some sectors such as Information Technology have encouraged its employees and contractors to work from home on a permanent basis.  This was long ago considered dogma.  Except that sometimes it does not work.

In 2017, I noticed that IBM was ending its ‘work from home’ policy for many workers.  In their statement at the time, “In many fields, such as software development and digital marketing, the nature of work is changing, which requires new ways of working.  “We are bringing small, self-directed agile teams in these fields together.”  Has anything changed in less than three years?

Further confirmation of this model can be found with most of the technology innovators and accelerators today.  Often accused of selling real estate these mostly for-profit enterprises claim that working together in a centralized environment encourages collaboration and cross pollination of ideas.

This is the current common business model for start up organizations around the world.  In the minds of many, it must work and add value to the creative process.

Another New Normal

Is this a paradigm shift or just a short term inconvenience?  Reality, probably a bit of both.  E-learning has been growing and this may give that sector a boost.  Software development, the presumed online job, maybe not so much.

While it is likely that Structural Dynamics are at work the current covid-19 situation.  Our Relationships, Behaviors, Conditions (RBC) model is a useful tool going forward.

We are changing your blog model for the near future and will be developing this issue in more detail and offering actionable solutions.   In subsequent posts we will develop this further.

In the meantime, if your challenged by the requirement to work remotely contact us for on cost, on obligation mentoring.

How is Your Organization Assuring Productivity Remains During the Crisis?

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