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So, Where Do You Work?

A post at /. points out a USA Today article that notes a growing trend where people perform their jobs at places other than home and office. I realized that I have been using Starbucks as a makeshift office months ago. In general, being able to work at alternative places during atypical hours increases productivity. Sometimes, people just need a change of work environment to boost production.

The ability to allow workers to work remotely demonstrates a company’s agility. Monolithic companies tend be very traditional and seem to resist novel work practices. Workers who perform their jobs remotely are highly autonomous. Because people tend to depend on the work of others in order to carry out their own jobs, delivery of results from a remote worker’s efforts serves as an inherent mechanism for team synchronization. This synchronization helps maintain productivity without needing a traditional level of supervision.

Supervising remote workers may be challenging to armchair managers, who depend on visual cues to deduce productivity. Managers, who believe that the appearance of being busy is indicative of production, have trouble in assessing the benefit of worker effort when the worker is not visible. Judging the productivity of workers that do not work at the office may prove difficult for such managers.

As suggested earlier, the key measurement of performance is production. ‘Business,’ or the state of being busy, neither builds nor supports companies. Companies require results. After seeing consistently increased results from workers who work remotely, the practice of working at a third place will become accepted by more companies.

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