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IBM’s recall of remote workers sounds like a death rattle. Say “goodbye” to the best and brightest.

IBM’s recall of remote workers sounds like a death rattle. Say “goodbye” to the best and brightest.

“Everyone I know is very upset,” says one employee, who like most interviewed asked to remain anonymous while discussing an employer. Some workers furiously began looking for new jobs. Others say they have stopped contributing to long-term projects because they aren’t sure whether they’ll be around in the future. "

Source: qz.com

They can say "goodbye" to the best and brightest talent. Iike Yahoo and Best Buy, IBM is in deep trouble. Somehow that seems to create a "circle the wagons" reaction.

 

But the connection between co-location and collaboration or innovation has NOT been proven. Many of the studies often cited in these arguments date back to the early 1990s when working at a distance was much more difficult. 

 

What has been proven is that: 1) open offices are distracting and counterproductive. They are a particular nightmare for introverts who make up over 40% of employees; and 2) workplace flexibility is key to attracting and retaining talent.


Subtle signs of employee engagement are everywhere, even the office fridge and bathroom stall.

Subtle signs of employee engagement are everywhere, even the office fridge and bathroom stall.

One morning last week, I opened the office refrigerator and saw that a gallon of milk had spilled inside. It was 8:30am, and I was facing my first moral test of the day: Would I clean it up, or shut the door and slowly back away? At my old job, I’m sad to say

Source: qz.com

Engagement surveys are important, but a careful look around the office can offer a quick read. When people show respect for their space and their co-workers, it shows. 


Now here’s an interesting headline: “Fight Trump. Work from home”

Now here’s an interesting headline: “Fight Trump. Work from home”

About 135 million Americans commute to work, and according to a 2016 survey by research firm Global Workplace Analytics (GWA), 50 percent of them have jobs they could do remotely at least part time. If all those workers skipped the commute just every other day, we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as we would by taking 9 million cars off the road.

Source: www.motherjones.com

The article points to employer and employee benefits of remote work including reduced work-life conflict, lower greenhouse gas emissions, a reduction on the outbound migration of talent, and even...increased voter turnout!


Subway system adds musical surprise and increases stair usage by 66%

Subway system adds musical surprise and increases stair usage by 66%

If ‘something is as simple as fun’, it’s the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better. Behind such a simple idea is a lot more than you might think. The Fun Theory, an initiative supported by Volkswagen, set themselves the challenge to prove this… In this exact case there’s a set of stairs, leading out …

Source: mb.ntd.tv

What a great way to get people to exercise. 


Dell’s goal of 50,000 employees telecommuting by 2020 driven by real estate savings and sustainability 

Dell’s goal of 50,000 employees telecommuting by 2020 driven by real estate savings and sustainability 

"Whether you call it telecommuting, remote work, mobile work or distributed work, these flexible-work arrangements are here to stay, ...says Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, a San Diego-based consulting firm that specializes in flexible-workplace strategies."

Source: www.hreonline.com

Already 20k Dell employees work at home and average of about 10 days a month. Their program dates back to 2009 when they discovered their office space was grossly underutilized.


35k Fujitsu employees will be offered unlimited telework after successful trial shows increased productivity

35k Fujitsu employees will be offered unlimited telework after successful trial shows increased productivity

TOKYO -- Fujitsu announced unlimited telework will be available to all 35k permanent employees. 

Source: asia.nikkei.com

The article indicates this is the largest Japanese telework initiative yet but others including Microsoft Japan and snack manufacturer, Calbee have expanded their programs too.

 

In part a response to government's focus on better work-life balance for its citizens, Fujitsu also hopes to demonstrate how their own technology can support a remote workforce. 


2017 Gallup survey shows more than half of employees are willing to walk for workplace flexibility and privacy

2017 Gallup survey shows more than half of employees are willing to walk for workplace flexibility and privacy

"More than half of office workers (54%) say they would leave their job for one that offers flexible work time.

 

Roughly four in 10 would do the same for privacy or a personal workspace or office.

 

One-third would change jobs for a door they can shut or a work environment that has a comfortable temperature."

Source: www.gallup.com

Come on employers! Your people are voting with their feet. If you want to hire and retain the best people, give them what they want and need. 


Would you be comfortable if your employer tracked how long it’s been since you spoke to a co-worker?

Would you be comfortable if your employer tracked how long it’s been since you spoke to a co-worker?

Some estimates say up to 15 percent of Fortune 500 companies now use sensors of some sort.

Source: www.washingtonpost.com

I'm not going to answer my own question here, but I do wonder who gets to make the decisions about what's okay and what isn't. My read, based on all I've read, is that there is no "governing body" looking at this? Who should it be?


Gallup finds huge shift in employee engagement among remote employees. Highest now among those who do so 60-80% of the time, up from 20% of the time just last year. 

Gallup finds huge shift in employee engagement among remote employees. Highest now among those who do so 60-80% of the time, up from 20% of the time just last year. 

All employees who spend at least some (but not all) of their time working remotely have higher engagement than those who

don’t ever work remotely. And the tipping point for optimal engagement has

increased dramatically — from less than 20% of time to 60% to 80% of time

working remotely.

Source: www.gallup.com

The report also found those who work remotely 2-3 days a week feel substantially more productive than those who are office-bound or are who work remotely less frequently. 


Three quarters of stay-at-home parents say flexibility would allow them to continue to work 

Three quarters of stay-at-home parents say flexibility would allow them to continue to work 

"While the official U.S. unemployment rate has declined since the start of the recession in late 2007, the total share of adults who are not employed has risen in recent years. This survey examines the views and experiences of this broad group of prime-age workers who are not employed, including ...what it would take to get them working...".

Source: kff.org

With employers wringing their collective hands about talent and labor shortages, why aren't more hearing the message: the key is flexibility.


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