“We have listened and learned,” CEO Charlie Scharf said in an email to employees worldwide.
U.K. employees were reportedly so distressed by the move they were considering legal action. "We did not fully appreciate the level of impact this would have on those employees with existing arrangements,” said CEO Scharf. He originally backed the move citing increased collaboration and quicker decision making, but after the employee outcry, announced he was rethinking the move.
Transitioning to a virtual workforce can be beneficial for nonprofits and for-profits alike. Consider these tips for making sure the process is a smooth one.
A UC Davis researcher quoted in the article suggests there's an unconscious perception that people who are seen around the office during regular working hours are more reliable, committed, dependable than remote workers (including telecommuters and those who travel heavily). In fact, Microsoft's 'unconscious bias' training includes an example of forgetting to invite remote workers to a meeting.
The worry is that the 'not-being-seen'-bias could result in poorer performance reviews. It suggests including social time with remote workers and making sure managers judge their people by what they do, rather than their subjective feelings toward them.
RA 11165 or An Act Institutionalizing Telecommuting as an Alternative Work Arrangement for Employees in the Private Sector encourages employers to adopt telecommuting - a work arrangement that allows an employee to work from an alternative workplace with the use of telecommunication and/or computer technologies.
The new law does not require employers to offer telecommuting, it simply requires that if they do, they ensure they are treated no differently than other employees. It specifically mentions having appropriate training, technology, and access to colleagues and advancement opportunities. These have proven critical to the success of work-at-home programs in the U.S. and elsewhere, so it's good to see them baked into law.
Reducing traffic and improving work-life balance are the primary drivers of the telecommuting law.
Allsteel white paper points to identifies the need for a combined tactical, strategic, and business focus
"How does mobility factor into an organization’s real estate or workplace strategy within the context of increasingly collaborative work processes, an emphasis on positive workplace experiences, and new definitions of engagement and productivity? It all starts with creating your own definition of what mobility means that is aligned with the organization’s critical business goals, work processes, and culture."
The paper stresses that before embarking on a mobility program, organizations need to understand how and where people are working now, managers' attitudes toward remote work and experience with remote teams, the workspace itself and how mobility might support critical work processes and business goals. Optimal results only come when tactics, strategies, and business impacts are aligned. It ends with a useful Mobility Assessment Tool and Program Checklist.