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Re:The Challenges of a Mobile Workforce (1 viewing) (1) Guest

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TOPIC: Re:The Challenges of a Mobile Workforce
#2725
Re:The Challenges of a Mobile Workforce 6 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 2  
On the subject of people-related issues, I wonder if some home-based workers feel, at least subconsciously, some pressure to be always working. When you work from home, you literally live with work. Does anyone know if companies are considering time policies for mobile workers to give them a more comfortable sense of work-life balance?
 
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#2742
Re:The Challenges of a Mobile Workforce 6 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 0  
As a person who works 100% of the time out of my home I have gotten use the the fact that work and home activities are often co-mingled. However, since I usually am working for myself and am not required to attend meetings and other office central activities I have little experience with these problems. It seems to me that a person can tune out a meeting in person almost as well as they can tune out a meeting sitting at home. The only real difference is that the person at home can be more personally productive by eliminating commute times. I am an advocate for many jobs just staying at home as the office has no real purpose. Of course there are those that require physical presence but many require very little. If the workforce could be trained to be more disciplined at home this work could be done well and on time and from their own house.

-sean
 
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#2937
Re:The Challenges of a Mobile Workforce 6 Years, 3 Months ago Karma: 0  
I work from home as well - but not all the time. When I go to the office, I am at work by 9AM. When i work from home, i am "at work" by like 7-ish. Checking my email, responding, etc... That doesn't end until the evening.
I usually want to work from home so I can catch up on some work from the office.
I used to work from home all the time, and let me tell you, I never stopped working.

more and more companies are doing this virtual work place thing. I think it is cheaper, but it requires some getting used to.
 
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#2938
Re:The Challenges of a Mobile Workforce 6 Years, 3 Months ago Karma: 0  
I found that working at home occasionally was difficult -- it was easy to get distracted by little projects around the house. Once I started working fulltime from home, all those projects got finished or ignored. But like others, I wind up working some long hours, but I also can take the dog for a walk, do the (infrequent) leisurely lunch and I don't have to attend meetings, which saves a huge amount of time. The occasional con calls rarely go beyond an hour, unlike some friends who sometimes spend an entire day on calls.
 
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#2940
Re:The Challenges of a Mobile Workforce 6 Years, 3 Months ago Karma: -1  
Time policies for mobile/remote workers is an interesting idea. For a long time I think there was a prevailing view among managers that if they couldn't see employees working, they couldn't control how much they worked. Initially I think that was with the assumption that they weren't working enough; now it may be that they are working too much. Ultimately if an employee is getting his or her job done, and done well, it shouldn't matter where they work. But I agree that people who work remote, especially from home, may feel the pressure to produce more just to prove they are working. Time policies (maximum number of hours a day or week working) would help them not feel that pressure. On the other hand, if so many hours are required to get the job done and the employee would rather do that work at home, then at least they have the benefit of working from their chosen environment.
 
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#2942
Re:The Challenges of a Mobile Workforce 6 Years, 3 Months ago Karma: 14  
The old model of keeping an eye on employees to make sure they do their work seems predicated on the assembly line model of the industrial age. In the digital age, when its harder to tell when people are "working" (if you're staring out into space are you daydreaming about a vacation or thinking about how to handle a work-related problem) it seems so outdated.

I don't think that time policies for remote workers is the way to go. In the digital age I think individualism is central to how work gets done. It's the quality of the work that's key, and getting it done by the deadline too that matters. If I can finish my work quickly and have more time with my family, then great. If I take two hours out of my afternoon to go to a school event and then work at night to finish my work project, that makes sense for everyone.

Of course, at a time when there have been massive cutbacks, if workers are given too much work and it requires them to work excessive hours, then that is a problem. Honest, and open conversations with employees should reveal if there's a problem based on too few people to get the work done.
 
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