Learning Re-Imagined

Skillsoft Blog

Conventional office environment—not the simple definition it used to be

By Glenn Nott

It’s been little surprise to see the international backlash
surrounding Yahoo Chief, Marissa Mayer’s decision to abolish work from home. Business
heavyweights including Sir Richard Branson, have refuted Ms. Mayer’s archaic
views of flexible working and I am also disappointed.

Dismissing options for staff to work remotely from home in
2013 is like holding back the tide. While there continues to be debate, the
side that sits on the “negative” are either those that have never tried remote
working or have not implemented successful strategies when making the shift
from a corporate office to a home office. For over a decade, Skillsoft Asia
Pacific has promoted and successfully made working from home the cultural norm
for existing and new employees. In fact, if we asked our employees to show up
to a corporate office everyday there would be a revolt. We have proven year in and
out that in our environment, working from home increases employee productivity,
drives a more positive attitude from staff and makes for a more efficient
workforce.


If I were to offer two pieces of advice for those
organizations sitting on the fence it would be to 1) ensure communication
channels are heightened for the first six months. Ensure phone contact is more
regular than ever, hold more team meetings and coach staff on a daily basis. 2)
Constantly remind staff about the company they represent. The biggest “aha
moment” for me, which wasn’t an obvious one at the time, was when a staff
member no longer walked into their corporate office and saw their company logo
on the side of the building or on the reception desk. Missing that, they soon
forget they are part of a much bigger picture and have corporate
responsibilities. They are not stuck in isolation, in a home office, working
and making decisions for themselves.

Having a strong, well thought-out plan for making the shift
from a corporate office to a home office is not an option in 2013. Staff expect
it; particularly the millennial generation, customers enjoy it and
organizations want it as they see efficiencies and effectiveness soar!

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