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Remote Work Revolution

Thursday, June 23, 2011 by Slaughter Development

As The Methodology Blog has previously discussed, facetime is a paradox. Strangely enough, many people still believe that being present in the office means they’re being productive. Why is that?

In May, Robby Slaughter, founder and principal of Slaughter Development, discussed this particular topic in a column for the Indianapolis Business Journal. In his article We need a remote-work revolution, Slaughter points out the common office interruptions that stall rather than promote productivity:

Workplaces aren’t like school libraries, where silence is golden and quiet intellectual pursuit is the foundation of progress.

Instead, they are buzzing with conversation, ringing phones, shuffling papers, whirring copy machines, squeaky hinges and clunking footfalls. If you’re lucky enough to have your own walls, you can escape some of the chaos by closing your door. Most of us, however, work in cubes and must battle dozens of interruptions per hour.

According to Slaughter, with the advancement of technology and ease of data accessibility, working in an office where cubicles, equipment and centralized files once served a purpose is no longer a necessity.  In fact, he questions the institution of centralized workplaces since, to him, they appear to do more harm than good:

According to a New York Times article, we spend an average of 5.6 hours per week in meetings and 71 percent of us report that these sessions are “unproductive.” Most of the work we do is solitary and most of the value we provide requires concentration. Why suffer from the interruptions and overhead expense of an office, if most of the time most of us don’t need it, anyway?

. . .

The most fundamental reason we have not shifted the brunt of office work away from the office is because our business culture is based more on assessing the appearance of productivity than on actual results. People humming about in offices look busy, even though in reality they are constantly interrupting one another and struggling against the inconvenience of commuting and set hours.

Whether inside or outside the office walls, empowering stakeholders to create and control their own work environments can not only build an immense amount of satisfaction, but assist in raising an employee’s ability to increase their own productivity. What needs to be realized is that every person works differently. Therefore, perhaps it’s more sensible for the stakeholders, rather than corporations, to determine the way in which they work best. After all, despite the environment, being accountable for work is reason enough for employee’s to maintain performance and quality.

To learn more about Slaughter Development’s views on telecommuting, check out our Remote Work Week blog series on The Methodology Blog and/or contact us today!

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Like this post? Here are some related entries from The Methodology Blog you might enjoy:

Remote Work Week: Happiness - Last week, networking giant Cisco Systems released a study touting the benefits of telecommuting. They also mentioned a headline product, Cisco Virtual Office. Read on »
Remote Work Week - This week, The Methodology Blog at Slaughter Development will be covering the latest perspectives on  working remotely. Read on »
Remote Work Week: Opportunity - For our final post in Remote Work Week, we wrap up the discussion with advice on advocating telecommuting at your organization.
Read on »

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