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Where *Should* You Be Right Now?

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Stacey Swanson

Where should you be right now? Where are you? Simple questions that can be answered in different ways. Society says if you need to do work, you should be in an office building. If you should be with your family, then be at home.

Think about the Brady Bunch. The iconic sitcom from the 60’s. When Mike Brady needed to grab a file for a client, he HAD to be in the office. That was the only location for that file. But today, do you need to grab that document from the office? Or can you pick it up off the internet cloud from a tablet, smart phone, laptop, or from the office?

Something changed over the last 30 years. TECHNOLOGY. When my Dad started out in finance, his office didn’t have a phone. Once he received 5 calls a day, they deemed it appropriate for him to have a phone at his desk. Times have changed. Technology has changed. People have phones with them everywhere they go today.

Is the only place you do work in the office? That’s it? If your employees are focusing on results, do you care where they are?

Some organizations go by the old standard: TIME + PHYSICAL PRESENCE = RESULTS. As an HR professional, I am here to tell you that formula doesn’t work. Just because someone is in the office for 50 hours a week, it doesn’t mean they are achieving their results. It doesn’t even mean they know what they are supposed to be trying to achieve.

If employees are managed to BE in a certain location, do you know what you are getting? Why not flip it around and focus on results? If someone can do their best work from somewhere other than the office and achieve their results, why not? By shifting to a Results-Only Work Environment, or ROWE, the best things happen. Productivity increases, employee engagement soars, and customer satisfaction goes up. Use technology to help move the organization forward (and make the most of your technology investments) by focusing on results. Go ROWE.

To learn more about ROWE, visit gorowe.com Follow Stacey on Twitter @StaceyMSwanson

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Daniel Mintz

So with this comment, as with most, we are faced with dicotomies.

On one hand for good or ill, the Internet has broken down barriers between home and office, night and day, and work and personal ‘space’. This has good and bad consequences. Much of what we HAD to do in an office now can be done anywhere (and often more efficiently not at the office). On the other hand, the ability to get away from office responsibilities is much more difficult. We may be trading not having to spend 50 hours in an office for spending 60 hours total at work (while physically being in many different locations).

On the other, people are still people. They interact most effectively when they understand the communications better AND people still understand the communications better with people they see a lot. There was (and is) a reason why people struggle to have their offices near their bosses (the smart ones anyway), the fact that the office is now at their home can be a negative in the context of the organizational interaction whether we like it or not.

- Dan

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Stacey Swanson

Andrew- LOVE your remark!

Daniel- I agree that technology has broken down barriers between home and work. Giving people control over what that looks like for them and focusing on results is key. In some organizations we hear “they are on our payroll, so we own them” Like people are property. I would argue that organizations are paying for the results not having 24/7 control over their employees. Each employee can then determine how, when and where they need to be to achieve their results.

There are times where face to face is needed to achieve results. But, instead of meeting face to face and then figuring out what needs to happen- why not look at what result needs to be achieved and then working backwards to see where you need to be. Is the face to face needed to achieve the outcome? Or, is the face to face needed because someone has a belief that is the best way for work to happen.

Thank you for your perspective!

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