November 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm #173474
The Wall Street Journal reports that mobile workers can’t seem to turn their devices off, even to go to sleep (article here):
- One survey by Good Technology found that 50% of 1,000 respondents “read or respond to work emails from bed.”
- Another study in the UK by Credant Technologies found that nearly 20% of 329 respondents spend 2-10 hours per week working in bed.
Simultaneously there is a push by the U.S. federal government to reduce the amount of real estate it uses:
- The “Freeze The Footprint” initiative seeks to reduce excess real estate costs (OMB blog here)
- The Public Buildings Reform Act, among other things, “would require PBS (the Public Building Service) to reduce its federal space inventory by 1 million square feet per year through 2016.”(see Federal News Radio report)
According to OPM about 25% of eligible federal employees telework, up 48% from 2009. Of 168,558 who telework, 27% do so 3 or more days per week.
Let’s assuming that you would always be able to access temporary space at work if you needed it (like a wifi-enabled workstation).
Would you be willing to give up your permanent office space in exchange for the ability to telework at will?
November 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm #173480
Teleworked whenever / wherever. I found it was worthwhile to visit the office and conduct face-to-face meetings with staff and colleagues once per week. I encouraged my staffs to do the same – even required it from a few. We did a lot of work virtually. We had the infrastructure to do so.
The biggest challenge came from staff who stayed in the office, believe it or not. A couple of staff members could not resist freelancing – spending their time in Covey’s quadrant three (urgent, but not important). In other words, they got sucked into working on other people’s problems simply because they were physically closer to them & wanted to be helpful.
To me, the office was what I called “the big suck.” It tended to suck people’s time and energy away from what was really important and into a bazillion local dramatic crises. Important projects lost focus or got watered down with local politics, office drama, or overwhelmed by group think.
My sharpest and most consistent producers stayed out of the fray.
November 21, 2012 at 8:07 pm #173478
Janina Rey Echols HarrisonParticipant
Yup, I answered this one the other day. I could easily telework and do what I do now, which is schedule a conference room once a week where I am available for anyone to come in and work on their budgets. Something I started as a customer service program which gets rave reviews. Most of the rest of the time I was stuck in a way too small office (my coffee table was bigger than the floor space left after my file cabinets and bookcase were installed, not even enough room for a regular desk, had one of those mini computer desks.) Very few people were willing to sit in there with me to work so I usually go to their offices. Have my computer bag set up with extra cables, switch box, holds paper, pens, stapler/remover, ruler. Put my show on the road. Janina’s Traveling Budget and Snake Oil Show.
November 21, 2012 at 8:15 pm #173476
I love this…”the big suck” – how true is that? Having your butt in your seat doesn’t mean your produce good work. If its really about producing quality work, doing the important versus urgent work and improving morale it’s hard to argue against it telework.
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