A Sneeze Travels at 200 Miles Per Hour + Stays Airborne Almost Indefinitely Hostile Workplaces Take On a Whole New Meaning With Coronavirus Get a Plan for Telecommuting Today

Try to grasp how the Coronavirus pandemic can accelerate –  a cough and sneeze plume travels at 50-200 miles per hour and can stay airborne almost indefinitely.  It’s amazing that any of us is alive at all with all the versions of flu, cold and other viruses.  Looking at all the ways Coronavirus is spread, such as between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and “a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads” the office, hallways, parking areas, food service areas, bathrooms are all likely areas where this virus or any other virus can accelerate.

 My view is “just say no” to going to an office, if you can call “open space” as offices or other configurations where people work. Simply, stay home or work somewhere else.  If you are a manager who is still stuck about not being open to telecommuting and/or a person who has concerns about what telecommuting will be like or how-to setup a home office, here is an indepth presentation.  Meanwhile, telecommuting means working whenever-flextime and from wherever-flexplace effort completing tasks and activity as needed. Telecommuting opens the work horizon by creating an office without walls, an office that, in fact, can extend to an airplane passenger seat, satellite-coworking work center, coffee shop, mountain top or home dining room located anywhere in the world. Are you a morning or night person, telecommuting take place in “flextime,” giving both workers and employers an opportunity to operate during hours that are best for them. Telecommuters have proven to produce more because they work during the hours they feel best and are most proficient, they work without interruption, and they put in longer hours. Managers must, however, choose tasks that lend themselves to remote work and appropriately handle the technical and human-resource aspects of dealing with the remote worker. When markets fluctuate and a company is uncertain of its long-range requirements, there are proven business models that telecommuting can control building space, support facilities, and costly equipment by having staff members work and/or telecommute remotely. This is particularly true during periods of business expansion. Or, when clientele are spread across the country, the organization may find it more cost effective to distribute customer support facilities among telecommuters than to develop a central office location that requires storage space, food service, parking, and other business facilities. Telecommuting helps organizations retain valued employees when operations are expanded and space constraints develop or when a change in location is required. From our research a company can increase the number of workers by up to 40% without adding any physical space, not including office technology, HVAC/power and furniture costs.  There are also proven results in reducing staff turnover, relocation costs and a myriad of other office expenses from food service, vehicle transportation reimbursements and office supplies as well as untold personal stress.

Although telecommuting depends on whatever the current technology is; it is basically a social phenomenon that many people consider to be an updated version of the age-old “cottage industry” or “homework” concept. As with most technological innovation, there has been considerable lag time between the introduction of telecommuting technology and its broad acceptance in business, government, and elsewhere even today. Those innovations that will have the greatest impact on the remote work picture are just beginning to evolve. Robotics, AI, wearable tech, smart appliances, and advanced electronic communications systems are among the promising new possibilities. Telecommuting provides workers with a number of psychological benefits such as reduced stress, fatigue, worry about children coming home from school and other personal benefits. From another viewpoint, many people enjoy a sense of autonomy, perhaps the most important aspect of telecommuting, and consider it to be “a privilege, (and) an exercise in personal preference and commitment.”  Telecommuters also take satisfaction in helping to structure remote tasks, where given the chance, and achieve a balance between productivity aka bottom-line responsibility and their own lifestyle. Another psychological benefit of working remotely is perceiving a greater importance in one’s position within the system. A number of other evolving cultural influences are expected to affect American working styles and will certainly be reflected in the telecommuting picture. For example, companies are developing a do-it-yourself, “bypass” mentality by providing their own energy, communications, and transportation systems. On an individual level, this is reflected in telecommuters becoming more entrepreneurial and bypassing agencies when they need work.  Within the general population, multiple, evolving career paths are replacing any current working arrangement, and entrepreneurship or group efforts are becoming increasingly important influences. In business, the supervisory role is changing, cross communication and coordination of managers is being emphasized, as the traditional management hierarchy is shrinking, effectively decreasing promotional opportunities for managers. 

Here are some key points to consider:

• Start with understanding what work needs to be done by whom, not a solution – people don’t want to be confined to any workplace ever.

• Think about people long before technology – technology always changes faster than people.

• Focus on goal/solution, not just business process improvement but work to refine any process for telecommuting.

• Remember anything bad can and will happen and have a crisis plan in place which often requires unanticipated resources.  Note legal contracts with home workers regarding liability may not also provide any legal protection.  Opt-in telecommuters with simple guidelines is suggested but again some legal advice should be considered.

• The key to any new system is integration into the organization – while people say they want change, few are willing to change except change back from their purchase.

• When considering side effects, do not think just about one step removed, think about two or more.

• Good management can survive without technology – the reverse is not true.

• Human are social animals – people like being around people we like and abhor those we don’t in other words, give people a means to find a place to work that works for them, not just what you think they need.

• Effectiveness is essential, efficiency is not. Therefore, worry about doing the right thing (being effective) before doing things right (efficiently).

I am a telecommuter and yet I travel a lot but when I need to work, I work where I need to work, when and with what technology I need.  It works for me and work for you.

Bottom-line – Everyone can telecommute but telecommuting is not for everyone.  Telecommuting means creating flexibility around the uniqueness of each person to give them freedom which in turn helps those friends and companies to succeed. Get the indepth presentation on how-to do it here.

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