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Helping people and organizations work well in the virtual workplace



Should teleworkers go back to the office?


2/26/2013

With all the discussion following change in the telecommuting policy at Yahoo!, debate about the effectiveness and future of telework is raging. This is a good thing! Understanding why telework is utilized as a key business strategy is important, but understanding how to make it work well is even more important.    

Perhaps the elimination of telework at Yahoo! makes sense - only time will tell. But seeing a recall of remote workers back to physical offices as a path to improved collaboration, communication and teamwork does seem to be a misguided and out of touch response. Does this demonstrate vision and strength on the part of the CEO of Yahoo!? Or is the enlightened and talented CEO of today one who masters the ability to achieve excellence, employee engagement, and profitability while leveraging the benefits and overcoming the challenges of a dispersed workforce?    

Remote work is not likely to diminish nor are we likely to see a mass exodus back to the office. In many cases, there are no longer offices to go back to.  Smart organizations have already realized millions of dollars in real estate savings through telework.  Additionally, for recruitment/retention purposes and in support of needed business continuity strategies, structuring so that work can only be done when everyone is on-site is an extremely outmoded and potentially disastrous concept these days.  

This doesn't mean, of course, that remote work is easy, perfectly done or guaranteed to work for everyone.  But what emerging trends realize any of these ambitions instantly? The key is to embrace this evolving workplace reality, equip people with the tools and skills to do it well, model effective application of the necessary skills and technologies, and to find new paths to success in our expanding virtual workplace. Going back in time - or back to the office - isn't the only or best solution.  

Find out how to make the virtual workplace work well and equip teams and leaders with the skills to succeed. Check out Debra Dinnocenzo's important new book, "Working From a Distance: Being Your Best When You're Not With the Rest." Available now on our website or on Amazon.