Why is it that we so often hear that something is for us, only to learn later that it actually may have harmful effects? Many examples may come to mind, but you may have missed recent research on the absence of benefits from remote work. Citrix and Forrester Research firm looked at information workers in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany who use a computer for work. Of the workers studied, 65% worked remotely one day a week, while 37% worked remotely two or more days a week. The survey uncovered some interesting issues faced by these workers.
As expected, this has sparked renewed arguments between the proponents and opponents of remote work.
Proponents of remote work say it encourages many positive outcomes:
Opponents object to the following negative outcomes:
We continuously hear that rapidly evolving technologies make it easy for people to interact using text, voice and video messages and VOIP conversations over broadband connections and even mobile networks. However, in another recent poll, workers reported that they frequently experienced problems with poor connections and access issues. They also cited the inconvenience of not having ready access to technical support personnel. Many indicated that, within their organizations, they were considered a low priority by their in-house technical support team, and frequently find themselves seeking technical assistance from third-party services.
Remote work arrangements are not well suited for all jobs and also are not for everyone. Companies that permit remote work need to establish processes to enable remote work. This is much more than a technical issue – establish criteria for determining whether work can be conducted remotely, put in place policies for approving and enabling remote work requests, train supervisors on best practices in managing remote workers, and consider how to maximize worker inclusion and collaboration.
Tell us what your organization is doing to close the gap between the hype and reality of remote work.
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