We conducted a quick poll to determine the status of remote/home office workers in commercial and public agency organizations.
80% of organizations report that 50% or more of their employees are working from remote / home office locations.
75% -100% staff work remote 59%
50% – 74% staff work remote 21%
25% – 49% staff work remote 9%
0% -24% staff work remote 12%
In some instances, employers are allowing remote office locations to continue as long as the employee wants to and return full-time, part-time, or not at all, at their discretion.
Of course, there are some job categories where this would not be possible such as aircraft mechanics and surveyor field technicians. But, we have become an electronic industry that allows many, such as GIS Technicians, to work from a remote office location.
Do we work better online?
A summary of a New York Times article 6-28-20
By David Gelles
© The New York Times Co.
When the online learning company Chegg started working remotely in March, Nathan Schultz, a senior executive, was convinced that productivity would plummet 15% to 20%.
Hoping to keep his employees on task, Schultz tried to re-create the high-touch style of management that had served him well throughout his career. He set up a Slack channel with his two closest deputies, where they began communicating incessantly, even as they spent hours a day in the same Zoom meetings. He began regularly checking in on many of the other members of his team.
“The first reaction was to smother,” he said. “I was trying to replicate the many touchpoints you have in the office environment.”
It didn’t work. Schultz himself soon felt burned out, and he could tell that his constant online presence was not very popular with his employees. So, he eased off.
Then something surprising started happening. Projects were completed ahead of schedule. Workers volunteered to take on new tasks. Instead of falling into a rut and losing focus in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Chegg employees became more productive.
Companies, too, are discovering that processes and procedures they previously took for granted — from lengthy meetings to regular status updates — are less essential than once imagined. And although some executives are concerned about burnout as working from home continues, they are enjoying the gains for now.
“We’re seeing an increase in productivity,” said Fran Katsoudas, Cisco’s chief people officer.
Most of Cisco’s employees have been working from home for months, and Katsoudas said data showed many were accomplishing more. For example, according to the company’s tracking, customer service representatives are taking more calls and customers are more satisfied with
At Eventbrite, the engineering team is thriving, while the sales and customer service teams are having a harder time working from home, the chief executive, Julia Hartz, said.
Hartz said that her customer service team worked in a more collaborative manner and that Eventbrite’s representatives missed being able to trade tips on how to handle different situations.
“It’s never the same call,” she said. “Our office is open. There’s a bullpen-type feel. You can turn your chair around and all face each other and share ideas or share the stress with your coworkers. You can’t do that remotely.”
Satya Nadella, the chief executive of Microsoft, lamented the loss of in-person interactions, even as he said productivity was ticking up.
Nadella said he worried that companies like Microsoft were “burning some of the social capital we built up in this phase where we are all working remote.”
Douglas Merritt, the chief executive of Splunk, an enterprise software company, questioned whether the appearance of busy remote workers was leading to actual gains.
“There’s a big difference between activity and productivity,” he said. “There’s no doubt that our employee population is not performing at the same level they were.”
At Chegg, 86% of employees said their productivity was as good as or better than before, according to an internal survey. They attributed the uptick to not commuting and not having boundaries to the workday.
Recently, Schultz’s team completed a project for Verizon in 15 days that he said would have taken a month during normal times.