Beyond "FACE 2 FACE"; A new normal in remote work
With the coronavirus pandemic, you may be having challenges connecting with your colleagues. While many organizations and businesses had reservations with telework or employees doing remote work now here is a brief introduction to the new normal.
It is interesting and at times alarming at the speed of companies offering online video or video conferencing and collaboration; how they have reflected the retail store idea of “attracting more customers.” Retail has used the “freemium” sales model forever and just recently (last few years) online marketing started using it as well.
Some people may think that companies are losing money by offering their video conferencing services for free… that’s certainly not the case yet, they are showing us something very interesting… if they can switch your free service offering total attendees or hosts from 8 or 50 limit to now 100 or unlimited attendees I’m thinking they could have done that all along. Yet, in the short term, we as the consumers will win big time but in the long term…it’s "FREE today and FEE tomorrow."
Let’s talk about what keeps my attention more than Zoom fees…This Future of Work series and today we are talking about Part 2; Beyond FacetoFace(F2F)!
As I like to think about the last year and even during a leadership course I attended in Rhode Island in 2017. There are government agencies that are not favoring Telework. Some allow for the local field commands under the DoD (outside of DC) to determine if their employees can or cannot TW. In my advance management course in RI we did a project that spoke about incentives, benefits and recruitment promotions when seeking to acquire talent for hiring and retaining in the federal government. So what are some recruitment incentives that we as hiring managers would like to offer our potential hires? (One question was asked)
Some folks from DLA explained some were allowed to TW and others were TW full time. They live and work with their laptop wherever they are in the world. When their spouse has to relocate because of military orders this person doesn’t have the burden of repeated job search here and there. That’s awesome and mastering the concept of “Beyond F2F.” But what about others that have the ability within their organizations (DoD/Fed or commercial) that just don’t like the idea of an employee that’s on the clock being out of site of the “boss.” What about those agencies that have a distrust of employees not being inside the cubicle when they walk by? What about the supervisor that feels when they call or email a person on remote work they should respond immediately and if they don’t they insist that TW doesn’t work.
What this type of leadership must realize is the world has changed and will continue to evolve. The workplace is not set for the past it is adjusting for the future. This is the new normal.
What some were not willing to consider or had “trust” issues with employees being away from the traditional workplace, now as of March 16, 2020 were obligated (given a direct order) to socially distance their whole department staff from the normal workplace. Now they don’t have to be conflicted about whether or not the person is being productive or not; because we see work gets done no matter where you are. The silver lining on this pandemic is that it did mobilize the lack of internal fortitude of some leaders to accept what is coming at warp speed and no sector will be exempt! Yes, as I like to remind us The 4th Industrial Revolution is the reservoir for technologies like Automation, RPA, 4&5G, AR, Anticipated Intelligence, M2M Learning, DPA and of course Blockchain or DLT.
We are in the midst of the greatest technological advancement that our world has ever known yet, many agencies are operating with the head in the sand. Industry 4.0 has arrived along with millennials and GenY , Gen2020 and GenZ (there might be others …) at the helm. This generation has taken a new approach to what is important in a work environment. Reports show and experts of The Future of Work say that in this new era we will experience more remote work or the Gig Economy revolution. And guess what? The CoronaVirus just accelerated the desire to work alone or work from home. Social distancing is the essence of remote work or the fuel for a “gig economy.” More people will now keep their distance and increase the skills by using distance learning more than before. Getting training from more traditional platforms like Udemy, Thinkific, Teachable and even Kajabi with a high-tech twist.
Yet, the real excitement of our times has brought video chat and social webinars out of the shadows and now directly mainstream offering high quality premium option video conference and collaboration platforms.
As we know some of the big winners in this new era/new normal currently are Zoom, Slack, WebEx, MSFT Teams, Google Meet, (Skype), and maybe Verizon will get some traction with their acquisition of BlueJeans video conferencing platform. These are the new faces of our workspace and if you are not a believer now...I'm pretty sure you will have to get onboard very soon.
For more information please visit my online show at The Triple Effect.
Rashid Hill, writer