Friday, June 26, 2020

Maybe you shouldn't work from home

From press clippings we get these bits about not working from home, which I've paraphrased:

What about social capital? 
The relationships currently sustaining business [and project offices] were built from face-to-face meetings before the lockdown. This "capital" that has been banked, to think in Stephen Covey terms, will erode over time if not refreshed. The longer people are apart, the weaker those bonds become.
So, how to build up the bank account will be a topic for the near future.

Remote hiring:

How would any new hire acquire the project [or business] culture; how would they made to feel connected? How do you do remote mentoring?

Of course, virtual teams have been dealing with this problem for years, so many protocols are already well developed for the new-but-remote person on the team

And, what about personal goals? 
Some predict a potentially destabilizing divide between workers who get ahead by going into the office and those who work remotely and miss out on career opportunities. “Everyone who wants to manage, to run things, to influence, to jockey, to make friends, to build a network — they will clamor to work in the office,” David Pogue writes. “Almost every single ambitious person in a company will be demanding a desk at HQ.”

I agree: when I worked for the military in Berlin, it was all about who could get closest to the flagpole.

What about the power relationships?

Like it or not, proximity to power is important, so if a project executive promotes a remote-first approach but then works mostly in the office, what's the power message there? And, ref to the above, who stays home while others get close?

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