Archive for the ‘Taking Action’ Category
Charles Duhigg is a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, and the author of “Smarter Faster Better – The Secrets of Being Productive In Life and Business”. Charles was recently interviewed on the Virgin Podcast, in which he shared the following productivity tips:
- Motivate yourself
- Look for elements that you enjoy
- Focus on building mental models
- Set goals
- Don’t get caught up in decision making
- Draw on your own experiences
- Embrace panic
If you’re a leader or manager wondering whether to allow some of your team to work away from the office, we’ll give you 25 reasons why it might be the right thing to do – for you, them, and your future success.
Listen to the episode here:
The 25 Reasons
- No more commutes
– Australians spend 4.4 hours a week commuting
- Fewer interruptions and distractions
- Fewer sick days
– They even work when they’re sick!
Improve Work Flows/Performance
- Meetings become more efficient
- Collaboration is improved
- Deferred communication reduces wasted time
- You can operate 24/7
Happier, Healthier Workers
- They are happier
– You’re 87% more likely to love your job if you work from home
- And healthier
- They suffer less stress
– 82% of telecommuters report they have lower stress since they started telecommuting
- Not restricted by location
- Freelance talent markets open up
- Employees want it
– 70% of workers would rather telecommute than work in an office
– GWA suggests this number is higher
- Attract Gen Ys
- Be competitive
- Keep them when their personal circumstances change
- Help them move
- Keep Gen Ys
- Keep experienced workers
- Office costs
– GWA has an online calculator
- HR costs
Fit for the Future
- Natural fit for the skills of the future
– The Institute of the Future has identified 10 key skills of the future
- You’re preparing yourself for future distributed work
- You become a better leader
We strongly believe organisations should be encouraging Out of Office work, because of its many advantages: flexibility, greater productivity, better work-life integration for employees, and so on. But it’s sad to see many Australian organisations haven’t embraced this idea. In fact, it’s just the opposite – especially for men.
A report by Bain & Company and Chief Executive Women found that women with flexible working arrangements are more likely to move into senior leadership roles, but men who do the same are penalised. As a result, many men in large organisations don’t take up flexible working arrangements because it harms their career.
Although Out of Office work is attractive, it’s not always easy – especially when you’re just starting out. In this blog post, Melissa Hincha-Ownby discusses five challenges she faced as a telecommuter, and how she overcame them.
More than half of Australian small businesses offer at least the ability for employees to work away from the office. Whether you do or not, Dynamic Business magazine offers some tips for making this work more effective – for performance, productivity, and a win-win situation for everybody:
- Lead from the front: Model this behaviour yourself, especially with use of collaboration technology and other similar tools
- Build a reciprocal environment of trust: Use technology to build and maintain trust in the team
- Provide location-based productivity tools: Invest in the right work environment and tools for your team
One of the biggest challenges to Out of Office work happens right at the start, when you’re making the transition to it. Learn how to manage yourself, your manager and your colleagues to make the transition smoother and more productive.
Listen to the episode here:
Most of the discussion about Out of Office work focusses on individuals and their teams. It’s rare that the Out of Office conversation encompasses the entire way of doing business, but there are reasons why that might be a conversation worth having.
Douglas Wendt, the CEO of consulting business Wendt Partners, did exactly that, transforming his business from a traditional style to a more Out of Office style. He says:
“We had to change how we did business and become more flexible in every way. In other words, embracing flexible work led us to become a better company. If we had stayed with a traditional work model, we would have stayed with a traditional business model — and neither would have been the right move. This is, in my experience, the true benefit of workshifting for the CEO: It allows you to create a more dynamic, responsive, market-focused company by attracting and supporting a more dynamic, responsive, market-focused workforce.”
This is an extract from a thoughtful article he wrote about the way he transformed the business – and why he thinks it’s essential now to at least consider it seriously.
Out of Office work helps both employees and their managers, but the benefits are not always obvious. In fact, some employers only see it as a perk for employees, and they are willing to do it to increase engagement, but believe it’s a cost to their organisation. But that doesn’t have to be the case, as the Dynamic Business article “How to make virtual work a win-win”, explains. The article lists a number of things to make this a win-win proposition:
- Effective team management. Can managers effectively manage their teams wherever they are?
- Formal guidelines. Does the company have formal guidelines in place to help managers/employees evaluate the selection process or is it offered on an ad hoc basis?
- High performance in a virtual world. Has the organisation assessed which roles/employees are able to deliver high performance in a virtual environment?
- Driving collaboration and innovation. How does our organisation drive collaboration and innovation and what tools do we have to encourage collaboration for those working virtually?
- Impact on retention. How could employee engagement and retention be impacted by a discontinuation of virtual work?
Telecommuting and other Out of Office work continue to grow in popularity (51% of employed Australians are telecommuters, according to ACMA), but there’s still some resistance in some organisations. We address some of the most common objections here.
Listen to the episode here:
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