Reading through these posts, some things standout:
- Working virtually is context dependent on many levels
- Organization culture directly affects the opportunity and the practice
- Organization leadership determines success
- Being able to measure the value of this workflow approach is important for sustaining
- There are many personal views on its value which may be demographically dependent
- There is a difference between the academic theory of virtually working and the practice of virtually working—refer to #1 above.
Sure there is more to discuss.
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From: SIKM@groups.io <SIKM@groups.io> On Behalf Of
Jasper Lavertu via Groups.Io
Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 05:17
Subject: Re: [SIKM] Working Virtually: Redesigning Work for Human Flourishing
Very nice blog post Nancy, thanks. The topic is interesting indeed. Many interesting replies to your post.
Many people will agree with you. Since 2016 there is even a law here in the Netherlands called ‘Wet Flexibel Werken’ (‘Flexible Work Act’). It gives the right to employees to ask their employer
to adjust the number of working hours, place of work and/or work times (e.g. you can ask to perform more or less work, to work from home, or to arrange your work times differently). The employer can refuse a request on certain, defined grounds (which can be
interpreted in several ways). However, it stimulates you to arrange your work differently, exactly because of the arguments you are mentioning in your blog (autonomy, work-life balance).
However, I don’t necessarily agree. In my experience, I also see the opposite happening and with good reasons to do so. I work at a shipbuilding company (high-tech custom build ships) and
work in our company is more and more organized to foster face-to-face (offline) collaboration. Our engineers have to solve complicated and complex puzzles, where multidisciplinary solutions are key. Working together, in multidisciplinary teams (live, face-to-face)
on these puzzles is paramount. Instead of promoting to work virtually, we have several high-tech concurrent design facilities in place where all stakeholders can work simultaneously on mutual challenges. Furthermore, we have colleagues all over the country
(although the Netherlands is quite small, it can still be a couple of hours driving between our locations). Again, instead of working virtually, the teams are collaborating face-to-face and what you see is that teams as a whole change location together (based
on the core of the work to be done at that stage, eg preliminary design work at the technical office for design and naval architecture while detail engineering will be performed at our manufacturing facility).
Yes, we also use tools to enable virtual working and for video conferencing, etc. But still, we see that there are many benefits of working together “in one room” (one of them being the fact that the engineers very much enjoy the dynamics of working together
in one room and to realize solutions that they have developed together as a team).
I believe that the benefits of working virtually (also) depends on the type of work to be done.
Knowledge Management Specialist, Knowledge & Innovation