What Is Stopping Us To Telework?

Alarm rings! “Wake-up, Dan! Wake-up, Dan!”  – A recorded voice of Dan’s wife played by the alarm clock.

Dan wakes up with a big yawn. He starts his morning ritual to get ready for work. He is a Project Manager at one of the big software firms in town.

Today, Dan choose to dress-up in his favourite comfort t-shirt and cotton pants. After having breakfast with kids, he drops them to school. Then, he comes back home and locks himself in a home office to start his work.

At 9:00 AM, Dan starts preparing for daily status update meeting.

At sharp 9:15 AM, Dan’s e-projector lights-up with 3D image of various team members working from 3 different continents. He stands-up and meeting starts.

Generally, Shaun (Dan’s Manager) provides an update at the end of the meeting. However, today is different. Shaun cannot resist. He yells out in loud and furious voice.

“We are heading towards disaster! The project is already going to miss its key milestone.”

Then a pin drop silence in three continents. After 5 seconds, Dan dares to say:

“Help us understand what you mean, Shaun!”

Shaun, realising he should be more patient, tries to explain.   

“OK! Guys, look at the whiteboard, I am going to draw something.”

Team starts looking at e-whiteboard.

Shaun starts explaining by drawing a milestone chart. Midway Dan interrupts:

“Shaun, this is not right, I want to correct something.”

Dan takes control of e-whiteboard and correct key milestone dates agreed by the Project Sponsor.

Shaun now relieved

“Thanks for the clarification Dan; I feel much better now.”

Team provides their daily update and say ‘bye’ to each other.

For the rest of the morning, Dan coordinates, collaborates and manage his team from his home office.

He smells something amazing, “It must be pizza…” he shouts “Oh! It is lunchtime already!”

Dan saves his work and runs out to have lunch with his wife.

He then gets ready to go out. He is going to meet a prospective client to sign a significant deal. His presentation is going to decide his success. If he satisfy his client needs, they will sign a critical and strategic agreement.

Dan drives to Enterprise e-cafe. He collect access card from reception and heads to the meeting room. While he was undertaking preliminary checks for presentation, Shaun comes in with the client’s team. With warm handshake, Dan starts presenting. Clients being quite impressed with the service model agrees to sign the contract: both Client Sponsor and Shaun, signs contract on e-Document controller device. As soon as agreement saves, e-Document controller fires a tweet. Both Shaun and Dan starts receiving messages of appreciation on their mobile devices.

Dan, feeling proud of his accomplishment calls-off another productive day. He drives to kids schools to pick them up.

It was one of the many productive days of Dan’s life.

Dan’s lifestyle is full of productivity, success, healthy personal, business and family life.

So, what are the key contributors to make it happen for Dan?

I think the key reason is the flexibility of working. Dan can choose the best tools and place (home, office or e-café) based on the task in hand.

Next question is how he gains this flexibility?

I think there are four significant factors:

  1. Technology: e.g. (e-projectors, e-whiteboard, e-Document controller)
  2. Infrastructure: e.g. (Enterprise e-café, Quality of network connection)
  3. Space: e.g. Personal space for office in home
  4. Environment of Trust: e.g. (Trust from business, team members and clients on mobility and freedom to choose physical workspace and time)
4 key factors to promote Telework

Four key factors to promote Telework

With the increasing developments in technology, infrastructure and affordability of gadgets, it makes perfect sense to encourage flexibility work (Telework).

Understanding its benefits, organisations are increasingly promoting flexible working arrangements for its employees. Governments of many advanced nations are encouraging and supporting Telework. Change is just around the corner. Without a doubt, there will be challenges. However, it will be beneficial for the working community, government, environment and employee wellbeing. Let us embrace it with an open heart and mind.

What about you? What are your thoughts on working from home (Telework)? What other tools do you think are missing to work from home successfully? What are the current challenges?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

4 Comments

  1. Telecommuting works for some people. It won’t work for me for a couple of reasons.

    1. I live in a small house. It is impossible to separate work space from living space, and I need a well-defined work space to make work from home work.
    2. I am a scientist. I make my living in chemical and biochemical research, and I love it. This is not something that can be done from home. Not only is my home too small, but various regulator agencies look askance at serious chemical research being performed in a residential area. 🙂

    Telecommuting makes sense for some people, but really, it doesn’t make sense for all people — retail, manufacturing, scientific research. In addition, I think that the idea of working from home, while it sounds appealing really risks confusing home life and work life in psychologically unhealthy ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Robert,

    Some great comments there. I really appreciate that!

    I think, we should look at Telework more broadly than working from home. I see that as more flexible arrangement of working. It means that you work where you are most productive. It may be your house, coffee shop, remote lab. The key thing is that technology and infrastructure should be able to support that.

    For example, consider conducting your scientific research in Perth(Australia) and have access to your fellow research professionals, documentation, resources, databases back in US. It is about collaboration, sharing and productivity at the same time. Offcourse, there needs to be a business case to do Telework.

    I agree, there are certain fields where Telework may not make much sense.

    Thanks again for your comments!

    Regards,
    SP Singh

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your post!

    Under Environment of Trust I would add the need for a system of negotiated socio-cultural protocols.

    We need to replace the existing dominance model (when in Rome do as Romans, when in Mumbai do as Indians…) with a (I’m making up this term) grounded convergence model.

    Under grounded convergence we say: here is our cultural perspective, our norms and our explicit and implicit expectations. Others then say, I want to work with you but I only match you on 2 items, is this ok? From this agreed upon convergent base, the contractual protocols are created.

    Liked by 2 people

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