Take a look at the news and you immediately see that the weather is creating problems for many individuals and companies. Employees cannot get to work due to ice, snow or whatever else nature has thrown in their paths. This is one area where improvement can and should be addressed leveraging technology to its fullest.
Anyone who knows me knows that I travel a bit. OK, a lot! They also know I can work from any place on the planet and access the information I need all of the time with few exceptions. Even when I am not able to connect using standard Wi-Fi, I use my USB Laptop stick and get Wi-Fi through my cell carrier. Why today, I can even connect at 35,000 feet using the Wi-Fi offered through the airline. That is why it boggles my mind that unless there is a reason you need to be in the building physically to do your job, like say a Nurse or Physician, why more companies and people are not working remotely, especially when the weather gets tough.
In my view, companies could benefit from the use of technology to enable employees to work remotely. In many of the discussions I have had regarding this topic, the biggest barrier seems to be one of culture and trust. I often hear “How do I know the employee is really working and not just playing golf?” I often reply with, “How do you know they are actually working when they are in the office?” I guess the real question is one of expectation and deliverables. Are you playing an employee to be in the office for a set period of time or are you paying for the knowledge and deliverables? Does it really matter if the person is in the office from 9-5 or is it the end result that matters?
Imagine a world where work gets done on budget and on schedule regardless of work hours and weather conditions. Imagine a world where knowledge and skills can be acquired readily and active collaboration happens outside of a conference room and beyond geographic limitation. Imagine a world that continues to move forward even when nature puts obstacles in the way. It is possible. The question to ask is, “What is preventing it?”
If you are not sure where to begin or what to do next, seek professional assistance and/or training to get you started.
What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? What is on your mind? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.
Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor – AIIM
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