17 Reasons you should formalize your mobile, activity-based, or unassigned desk program. Plus dozens of tips for how to do it.
New research shows strong trend toward formal workplace policies around activity-based working, unassigned desks, mobile work, and telework. Here’s what you need to know.
If you've been running your workplace program without formal policies, practices, and training, this is a must read. It's based on a new benchmarking report sponsored by IFMA's Workplace Evolutionaries.
The 'Tips' section offers dozens of must-have policies and guidelines for:
- Space usage
- Tools and Technology
- Remote or mobile workers
- And more
This study, conducted by Staples, included over 500 Canadian employees.
The report covers a wide range of topics and is well worth reading if you're interested in what's happening in Canadian work trends. It includes a surprise section on what employees want and expect from their facility managers and how they feel about their offices.
Highlights of the Facilities Management (FM) section:
- 82% of employees feel their FM plays a role in their success
- 59% say FMs are underappreciated
- 65% say the FMs role should be strategic and they should be given maximum resources to get their job done
- Only 29% of employers offer agile seating
- 38% work in open space, 38% work in semi-open space, and 23% work in mostly closed offices
- 66% spend some of their time working outside the office. Of those 48% sometime work at home and 17% sometimes work in co-working spaces
- 48% say the look and feel of the office space is a major factor in selecting an employer
Other topics covered in the study include:
- Workplace distractions
- Health and wellness
- Seasonal and vacation habits
IBM pioneered telecommuting. Now it wants people back in the office.
That IBM called back its employees anyway is telling, especially given its history as 'a business whose business was how other businesses do business.' Perhaps Big Blue’s decision will prove to be a mere stumble in the long, inevitable march toward remote work for all. But there’s reason to regard the move as a signal, however faint, that telecommuting has reached its high-water mark—and that more is lost in working apart than was first apparent.
The communications technology offering the fastest, cheapest, and highest-bandwidth connection is still the office.”
This thoughtful article by Jerry Useem in November’s Atlantic offers several rationales for IBM’s about face on remote work, including:
- Need for “collaborative efficiency” – some studies indicate that groups can solve problems faster when working in proximity.
- Research by Ben Waber, a visiting scientist at MIT, who found that people working in an office together traded an average of 38 communications about a problem vs. an average of 8 communications if the workers were in different locations.
- “Radical collocation” – a term coined by Judith Olson, a researcher at UC Irvine. In the late 90s, Ford Motor Company let Olson run an experiment with six teams working on the exact same problem. All six teams worked in war rooms near each other. and all completed their software development projects in about a third of the time normally required for such work.
Our take: These studies by no means prove that remote work is less efficient than co-located work, but they help us understand why some companies might be swayed by reasoning that backs up their hunches.
Many employers, however, “have let remote work happen rather than make it happen. They haven’t done the (management) training,” says Kate Lister, president of consultancy Global Workplace Analytics.
It's all too easy to forget that person who dialed into the meeting remotely (and for them to forget about you). Good communication doesn't just happen, you have to make it happen. That's true for face-to-face or remote employees. Dell, National Equity Fund, and many others make it work in a big way and reap the benefits in attraction/retention, engagement, cost reductions, and more.
As a staggering 43% of us are working remotely right now we partnered with YouGov to ask 1,543 US workers their reality of working remotely in 2017
Survey points to the need for better remote collaboration solutions:
- 4 in 10 say an important call has been dropped
- 4 in 10 remote workers say it's hard to be noticed
- 4 in 10 say remote workers miss out on culture
- 3 in 10 have used the wrong version of a document
- 2 in 5 have misinterpreted the tone of written communication
- 2 in 10 have been late to or missed a meeting because it was too complicated to join
- 1 in 4 say an important video meeting has dropped
- 1 in 5 have mistakenly replied all to an email
[1,543 surveyed by YouGov for Cyberlink]