It all started innocently enough.
Email, cell phones, VPN.
The flexibility of working from home allowed employees to be productive outside of the office and recapture their life. Avoiding horrible commutes and getting to spend more time with friends and family without the office tether.
And for employers it was a great recruiting tool. Flexible schedules or work-from-home options.
But this is something personally experienced the benefits of (getting more productivity from employees) and also the costs (less teamwork, more frustrations, and a lonely office).
This New York Times article shows why the office has become a wasteland and why more companies are starting to outlaw working from home options.
Have you seen this in action?
When trying to plan office space needs, if used to be enough to count your staff and add a certain percentage for growth.
Now you have to figure in how many people will be working flexible schedules (who can use shared cubicles), figure out the max, min, and average days in the office for each person so you can get a viable count.
But you also have to think about how you handle the teamwork aspect or team meetings.
In a sales team they are already used to the once a week in office meeting. Then the rest of their day is outside the office.
But with clerical and project staff, web meetings and email collaboration often doesn’t get the same results as when the team is in the office and building ideas and relationships together.
You may have seen email discussions go sideways. But when everyone is in the same office, particularly in close proximity to their coworkers, collaboration and positive results spring forth more often.
So how are you approaching your office situation? Are there days when it is a ghost town and people end of leaving early to go home and work where there are people and distractions to help them avoid the office loneliness?
And are you working to get people in the office at the same time so they build those relationships and positive interactions more often?
It’s a brave new world we’re in. Time to figure out how to make it work for you.