September 14, 2018 - Issue 18-36

Good afternoon  ,

It seems I'm "on a roll" on the topic of remote work. This week we'll take a look at the reasons and rationale, and the appropriateness, of incorporating "remote" in a worker's job description. 

Last week we talked about "how"; this week we discuss "why, or why not". Dom Price sets the tone for that discussion in this article, which was forwarded to me by Joe McCollum, another of my recent new LinkedIn connections.

Dom argues that a culture of engagement and productivity is far more important than where a worker is relative to his or her teammates. Here are some considerations in developing and maintaining that culture.

After all, many companies have teams made up of people from multiple office locations. They're apparently satisfied with the productivity from such teams. So the argument that team members must be co-located fo function well seems not to hold water. 

Well thought-out use of communication technology is essential. These days there are plenty of such tools available.

Many observers of the reasons for allowing or dis-allowing remote work, including Dom and me, have suggested that some face time is a good thing. Maintaining culture and camaraderie in a team spread far and wide  oils the wheels of productivity

That's good reason to put teams physically together initially and to introduce new members. The synergies desirable among team members can develop much more quickly face to face. 

Remote work doesn't fit well with command-control management styles, and that's a point in its favor. In my view, managers who want to keep tight surveillance over their workers are outmoded for good reason. That management style hampers creativity certainly, as well as morale and  productivity.

Workers are usually most effective working where they're most comfortable, and today's technology makes that possible. Get them face-to-face familiar with their co-workers initially, and often enough to maintain camaraderie. Send them home or wherever they want to work with appropriate communication tools. Then enjoy the savings in space, commute time and cost...and the productivity and loyalty of happy, engaged workers.

Except for those who must work with tools and equipment at a production site, this arrangement has a lot to offer. Morale and productivity can flourish with this format when it's done with proper planning and support. And there's no question it's less expensive in many ways.


John Stevens

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About John

Throughout a career spanning over 45 years my management style has been one of building teams to bring several competent people together to focus on a common objective. I noted early in my career that, in most organizations, there is an enormous amount of time, energy, and effort wasted by people working at cross purposes.

As I transition to life in the Argentine outback, my focus shifts from coaching to helping other business coaches and advisers get their message out to their prospective clients. With my first-hand knowledge of the benefits of effective business coaching, I am uniquely qualified to work with business advisers of all stripes convey their message.

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John B. Stevens, Freelance Copywriter

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