In some South African companies, flexible working arrangements have become the norm, but managers are still hesitant to embrace the change.

Linda Trim, director of workplace design consultancy Giant Leap, said offices are still returning to pre-Covid-19 occupancy levels and smaller cities are seeing new residents who are taking advantage of the avoidance of daily commutes, making telecommuting more convenient. and hybrid work a solid part of South Africa’s corporate business. of life.

Trimm said that while the “work from anywhere” experiment may be successful for veterans in defined roles with colleagues they trust, for many employees and certain tasks, telecommuting remains “a big problem that needs to be solved.”

“First of all, it’s remote work worse for new workers” Many inexperienced employees who join a remote virtual company realize that they haven’t joined a company at all. They’ve joined a group video chat.”

Many of the benefits of flexible working – such as managing your own time – can work against younger employees in companies that implement mentoring programs.

“This is partly true in South Africa, where we have such a skills shortage and a dire need to transfer skills to young workers,” Trim said.

Second, remote or hybrid work is a lot worse for creating new teams take on new tasks.

A 2021 Microsoft survey involving researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, which examined 60,000 anonymous employee messages and chats, found that the number of messages in teams increased significantly when employees tried to keep up with their colleagues, but that information sharing actually plummeted.

Remote work makes it more likely that people will sit in the teams they used to have and are much less likely to have conversations that could lead to knowledge sharing, Trimm said.

“The study found that while people can still do the ‘hard work of sending emails and creating spreadsheets from anywhere’, the most important part of the office is the ‘soft work’ – the chat and informal communication that creates long-term trust and are fundamental to the company’s innovation.’

Other studies have come to a similar conclusion.

Earlier this year, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Los Angeles, used smartphone geolocation data and matched it with patent citations from individual firms, Trimm said.

“They concluded that the first with the most personal interactions also had the most patent citations, clearly showing that innovation happens in person.

Third, and very related, telecommuting is a lot worse for generating new ideas.

A study by Columbia Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Management used 1,500 engineers to analyze whether virtual teams could brainstorm as creatively as in-person teams.

“Engineers who worked virtually generated fewer shared ideas, and external evaluators rated their ideas as significantly less creative than those from in-person teams,” Trimm said.

“Successful collaboration requires trust and a kind of intimacy that’s hard to build on a Zoom call,” Trim noted.

“The debate over telecommuting has become highly polarized between those who see it as an uncritical necessity and those who see it as a killer of culture and innovation. But it’s definitely worth noting what the study says.”

Read: South Africa’s biggest retailers: Shoprite vs Woolworths vs Spar vs Pick n Pay

Source by [author_name]

Previous articlePresident Weah signs landmark bills, including the dual citizenship law
Next articleDon’t expect Alex Jones’ victory to stop the lies