What We Are Reading
September 2020

"The Implications of Working Without an Office" by Ethan Bernstein, Hayley Blunden, Andrew Brodsky, Wonbin Sohn and Ben Waber

At the outset of Covid-19 and the largest work from home experiment in history, many predicted a drop in employee performance. Remarkably, according to this ongoing survey, many companies feel they have so far successfully navigated the shift with little loss in productivity. The pitfalls of remote work are not new - why does it seem to be working better now? Because before, working from home was often viewed as a choice and had to stack up against working in the office. Now, almost everyone in the organization is doing it and they are collectively striving to make the most of it. Downsides remain. For ex., it’s harder to onboard new employees and less schmoozing around the water cooler can lead to lower levels of trust and innovation. But it’s still early in this experiment and the combination of ingenuity, leadership and organizational support may yet solve these challenges too.

HIGHLIGHT(S): Ambiguity is a killer when the staff is in the office, but even more so in virtual environments. Now leaders are compelled to become super-clear communicators. “You must invest in clarity and become a chief repetition officer. Don’t stop until everyone can repeat exactly what you are doing, why you are doing it, and what success looks like.”

Link: https://hbr.org/2020/07/the-implications-of-working-without-an-office

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