On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy
Category Archives: Telework (a/k/a Workshifting)
In response to the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic, an increasing number of companies are urging employees to work from home. Despite the severity of the disruption caused by COVID-19, employees and even companies may find a silver lining, as remote work can have a number of benefits, including increased employee satisfaction and productivity. Although it’s far too early to tell, these benefits may serve to motivate organizations to make a more permanent transition to remote work. As employers figure out the role remote work will play in their organization, special attention will need to be given to how employers will ensure the security of both their workforce and their business-critical data. Security teams can help organizations navigate this transition by putting established security best practices into place. Below are three practices worth considering.
1. Make security part of your organizational culture
5 Tips for Building a Culture of Security Among Remote Employees
In one of our previous posts, we highlighted the importance that making security a part of your organizational culture played in keeping your remote workforce secure during the COVID-19 pandemic. But what does that entail? In this post, we’re going to flesh out key steps that security teams and their leadership should take in order to make a strong culture of security a reality within their organizations.
1. Security culture is inseparable from the values of your organization’s leadership
Like any other organizational value, building a culture of security starts at the top. Invested stakeholders, usually starting with senior leadership, must cascade the types of cultural changes they wish to see by helping spearhead initiatives that will ultimately transform their organization. Although it is IT’s job to educate and engage with employees who break security policies and don’t follow security best practices, it would be very difficult for IT to function in an organization where leadership doesn’t embody the values needed to maintain a secure organization. Read more of this post
With route optimization software you’ll spend much less time planning – and the routes produced will be far superior to manually created routes.
For a mobile workforce, route optimization is the process of determining the most efficient routes, in terms of cost, resources and time. All other relevant factors such as order and driver restrictions, as well as the various workflows of a particular business are also factored in.
The aim is to maximize efficiency and fulfil more orders: getting to more addresses with fewer resources. This allows businesses to save time, costs and ultimately increase their revenue.
With route optimization software, your business will:
- increase earnings by 10-30% simply by allowing you to complete more orders,
- improve employee productivity and customer satisfaction,
- cut operating costs and overtime by 30%.
Using a map, or any other manual means, to create optimized routes is incredibly difficult and time-consuming. As the number of drivers and orders increases, the complexity of the task of dividing up the work accurately and efficiently grows exponentially. Read more of this post
It’s proven that remote teams work more productively than teams in an office environment. One survey found 77% of workers were more productive when working remotely. Another found that 76% of workers were distracted less often than when working in an office.
Remote workers may be more productive, but there are still challenges to working efficiently in a distributed team. Coordinating developers across time zones can present a logistical headache. Remote developer teams need the right tools and platforms to ensure they can share work efficiently and capture the full benefits of productive remote work. These are the best ten tools for helping distributed teams of developers coordinate. Read more of this post
The future of work is remote, and in no industry is this truer than in programming and software development. A globalized workforce allows companies to harness the skills of programmers from around the world, saving time and money in the process. Many companies, including Stripe, ESPN, and Coffee Meets Bagel, have capitalized on working with top developers no matter where they live. Here are some of the main benefits companies gain by working with remote software teams. Read more of this post
It’s a much-debated topic and a growing trend, but most companies still don’t seem to take a deliberate approach to flexible working. Instead, they just offer a vague middle ground of “flexible working” on a case by case basis.
There are strong arguments for encouraging remote working and, conversely, arguments for bringing everyone together under the one roof. As recent examples highlight, there is no “one size fits all” answer. The key is to tailor your company’s approach to your objectives, operating rhythm, desired culture and workforce composition.
Back to the office
Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer famously abolished working from home in 2013, saying that “people are more productive when they’re alone, but they’re more collaborative and innovative when they’re together. Some of the best ideas come from pulling two different ideas together.”
It’s a powerful argument. It also contains an inherent assumption that working from home increases productivity, which may not always be true. But Mayer had to do something to shake up Yahoo!’s culture and she put collaboration ahead of flexibility, which is what she felt the company needed at that point in time.
In 2014 Reddit decided to consolidate its workforce in one location, San Francisco, and abolished remote working. Reddit’s reasons were similar to Yahoo!’s.
More flexible companies
Early this year I mentioned that I won’t be authoring any more posts about working remotely myself. I still welcome content submissions on this topic however. That said, the following content on advantages and disadvantages of working from home was submitted by Arabella Ignacio from Clicktime.com. I believe the author made wonderful points and agree with the takeaway message to know yourself. In Top 10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Working from Home, Michelle Kiss writes:
Let’s be real, no matter where you’re working from, you’re still doing just that: working.
So, should you work from home or work from the office? It honestly comes down to what environment you’ll be most effective in. (And how nice your home office is.)
One person’s productivity booster can be another’s distracting disaster.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the classic benefits that working from home!
Yes, I’m still here and I plan to do something different on this blog this year. I began this blog focusing on the matter of telework (otherwise referred to as “remote work” or “virtual work”) as it was an exciting concept I wanted to promote. Since then, I’ve learned about obstacles to adoption and the fact that some large organizations that initially embraced it decided to call their remote workers back onsite.
So what do I think telework’s prospects are now? Well, I don’t think society will see more experimentation and, possibly, more widespread adoption until telepresence technology (enabling a more realistic simulation of face-to-face interactions) becomes more available at a lower cost. This type of technology includes holographic video conferencing as demonstrated by Cisco:
TINYpulse’s survey research report, What Leaders Need to Know About Remote Workers: Surprising Differences in Workplace Happiness & Relationships, states:
Today’s workplace is a global one, with companies and even teams that stretch across geographical boundaries. Distance is no longer a barrier to collaboration, thanks to technologies that allow for instantaneous communication across state and country borders. The idea of supervising and working with employees you rarely meet in person — if at all — is more and more commonplace.
So what’re some benefits of having a remote workforce? This stunning infographic answers this question. It also summarizes 509 remote workers’ description of themselves and their work experience and, finally, shows how they stack up against office workers. Who are these remote workers and why do they work remotely? Find out below! Read more of this post