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Fifth biennial benchmarking study reveals big shifts in workplace strategy

Fifth biennial benchmarking study reveals big shifts in workplace strategy

Many of what we once considered alternative workplace strategies, have now become mainstream. Now in its fifth year, this benchmarking study was conducted by Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA), Global Workplace Analytics, and Haworth Inc., and additionally supported by Workplace Evolutionaries, a community of practice within the International Facilities Management Association. Over 130 organizations representing over 2.3 million global employees responded. The results were compared to longitudinal data collected across four similar surveys fielded since 2008.

Source: globalworkplaceanalytics.com

The 'Once Alternative Workplace Strategies Report’, reveals significant changes in how and where people work. Some of the more interesting findings include:

  • The worry over a loss in productivity when people are able to work anywhere is entirely unfounded.
  • People impacts, rather than cost savings, are now the primary measure of success
  • Internal mobility has more than doubled since 2008; External mobility (working at home, coworking places, outside the office) has remained flat
  • Nearly half of employees are still permanently assigned to one space; no change since 2008
  • Employee involvement in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of workplace change programs has decreased significantly

The free 50+ page report can be downloaded at http://we.ifma.org/resources/we-research/.


Some theories about why IBM is moving 5,000 of its tech people back to the office

Some theories about why IBM is moving 5,000 of its tech people back to the office

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 markand 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.”

Source: www.theatlantic.com

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.


How do you keep remote workers from feeling like second-class citizens?  

How do you keep remote workers from feeling like second-class citizens?  

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.

 

Source: www.wsj.com

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.

 


Remote Communications and Technology Still a Challenge

Remote Communications and Technology Still a Challenge

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

Source: ublog.cyberlink.com

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]


Remote Communications and Technology Still a Challenge

Remote Communications and Technology Still a Challenge

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

Source: ublog.cyberlink.com

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]


Telecommuting up 115% says new report – Demographic data offers some surprises

Telecommuting up 115% says new report – Demographic data offers some surprises

The 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Report was released today by Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs.

Source: globalworkplaceanalytics.com

The report covers trends in the telecommuting workforce over the last ten years including:

 
• Demographics of the average telecommuter (age, gender, education, salary)
• Telecommuting by industry, occupation, and sector
• Telecommuting by metro area (prevalence and growth)
• Actual and potential economic and environmental impact of telecommuting


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.


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!


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