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该不该继续远程办公,这是苹果都解决不好的问题

该不该继续远程办公,这是苹果都解决不好的问题

Bill George 2021年07月21日
远程办公对员工及其组织来说有很多明显的好处,但也存在一些负面影响。

目前设计混合办公模式的企业需要权衡一下远程办公的利与弊。图片来源:Getty Images

关于新冠疫情得到控制,大多数人们接种疫苗后,员工是应该返回办公室工作还是继续远程办公,各个组织之间展开了一场异常激烈的辩论。

Gartner公司的一项调查发现,约70%的员工想继续某种形式的远程办公。推特(Twitter)和Facebook已经授予员工许可,可以永久在家办公。另一方面,高盛集团(Goldman Sachs)的首席执行官大卫·所罗门称远程办公“脱离常规”,主张员工返回办公室,这样才能够在工作中集思广益。

我在哈佛商学院(Harvard Business School)的同事采黛尔·尼利通过精心研究写了一本书。这本书来得十分及时,名为《远程办公革命》(Remote Work Revolution),书中论证了如何使远程办公效率最大化,并谈及各种话题,例如建立信任、生产力、灵活团队工作以及虚拟领导。通过研究,尼利发现,“当人们有机会远程办公,能够灵活安排工作任务时,他们对公司会更加尽心尽力,业绩会上涨,而且公司人员流失的可能性会下降。”

让我们一起来看看远程办公的一些利与弊。有利之处在于:

节省时间

无需花费漫长的通勤时间到其他城市或国家工作,人们发现他们有更多的时间用来工作以及和家人相处。腾出来的这些时间可以用来处理更多工作、陪家人、锻炼身体或者进行放松。

生产力

许多人及其公司都很惊讶地发现,在远程办公环境中,他们的工作效率提高了。将通勤和路上浪费的时间节约下来不仅有明显的好处,而且他们也发现,没有办公室内一贯令人分心的事情打扰,他们的注意力更加集中。

灵活的工作时间表

远程办公的员工发现,他们既能够参加定期会议,亦有安静的时间完成个人工作,这使得他们可以更加灵活地制定工作计划。这也增加了会议的出席人数,因为举办会议无需制定出差计划和通勤时间表。

平衡家庭需求

尽管有些人抱怨,在家中与孩子一同工作具有挑战性,但事实是如果能够灵活在家办公,大部分人们更容易平衡工作和家庭需求。

节约成本

远程办公明显为雇主和员工节省了成本。不仅雇主们的出差成本大大减少,员工们也省去了通勤成本。比如塔吉特(Target)等企业正在通过使员工向旅馆式办公模式转移,来削减昂贵的市中心办公空间。旅馆式办公是一种新概念,这种办公模式下,员工没有固定的办公室,其需预定开放的办公空间。

组织设计

在很多公司一直在努力摆脱层次组织的同时,远程办公进一步推动水平式互动,提升了人与人之间的平等性。在通过Zoom进行的视频会议中,不存在与座位顺序或者亲自到场有关的特权,因为每个人的屏幕大小都一样。

尽管有这么多明显的好处,远程办公对员工及其组织来说也存在一些负面影响。

信任

面对面沟通的好处显而易见。尼利直面这一问题,并提出有关远程建立信任关系的建议。她解释道:“与面对面沟通不同,你与同事在一起相处的好时机可以让你们对彼此产生意外发现,而远程沟通的情况下,你必须特意分享你个性的一面。”

合作

组织用什么替代人们在办公室一起工作时之间发生的合作?答案是新工具以及新会议类型,例如虚拟白板和创意脑力激荡,这些能够为重新建立创造性合作创造条件。

非正式的互动

许多领导者依赖源自“走动管理”的非正式的自发性的互动。高管称,与正式会议相比,其通过即兴互动了解到更多实际情况,但是在远程办公模式下,很难复刻这种非正式的交往。

与客户沟通

与客户在其营业场所会面,尤其是在零售环境中,充分利用所有感官,并与客户建立关系,没有什么比这更合适的沟通方式了。即使对于远程工作的员工,也可以通过一些亲自拜访和会面来建立初始关系,获得洞察力,然后能够通过远程交互来进行关系跟进。

有关这些负面影响的担忧正在促使组织创造混合办公模式。然而,设计功能完善的混合办公模式很复杂。远程办公员工可能认为存在圈内人(现场办公),而他们属于圈外人(线上办公)。远程办公还会创造有关错失恐惧症的焦虑。关于这些担忧,尼利论证道:“我们永远不要把物理位置上的接近与心理上的亲近混为一谈。这是一个谬论。”

员工和企业的性质和需求将塑造未来有关远程办公的决定。我希望不同形式的混合办公环境——一些员工现场办公,而另外一些远程办公——将会成为新常态。在一段时间实验后,企业将确定哪种形式对于其文化产生的效果最好,并为其组织制定清晰的基本原则。

通过创造理想的环境迅速适应远程办公的首席执行官们将建立更强大的企业,并与更强大、更尽心尽力的人才一同取得成功。(钜富中国网)

比尔·乔治是哈佛商学院的高级研究员、美敦力公司(Medtronic)的前董事长兼首席执行官,以及《真北》(Discover Your True North)的作者。

译者:郝秀

审校:汪皓

关于新冠疫情得到控制,大多数人们接种疫苗后,员工是应该返回办公室工作还是继续远程办公,各个组织之间展开了一场异常激烈的辩论。

Gartner公司的一项调查发现,约70%的员工想继续某种形式的远程办公。推特(Twitter)和Facebook已经授予员工许可,可以永久在家办公。另一方面,高盛集团(Goldman Sachs)的首席执行官大卫·所罗门称远程办公“脱离常规”,主张员工返回办公室,这样才能够在工作中集思广益。

我在哈佛商学院(Harvard Business School)的同事采黛尔·尼利通过精心研究写了一本书。这本书来得十分及时,名为《远程办公革命》(Remote Work Revolution),书中论证了如何使远程办公效率最大化,并谈及各种话题,例如建立信任、生产力、灵活团队工作以及虚拟领导。通过研究,尼利发现,“当人们有机会远程办公,能够灵活安排工作任务时,他们对公司会更加尽心尽力,业绩会上涨,而且公司人员流失的可能性会下降。”

让我们一起来看看远程办公的一些利与弊。有利之处在于:

节省时间

无需花费漫长的通勤时间到其他城市或国家工作,人们发现他们有更多的时间用来工作以及和家人相处。腾出来的这些时间可以用来处理更多工作、陪家人、锻炼身体或者进行放松。

生产力

许多人及其公司都很惊讶地发现,在远程办公环境中,他们的工作效率提高了。将通勤和路上浪费的时间节约下来不仅有明显的好处,而且他们也发现,没有办公室内一贯令人分心的事情打扰,他们的注意力更加集中。

灵活的工作时间表

远程办公的员工发现,他们既能够参加定期会议,亦有安静的时间完成个人工作,这使得他们可以更加灵活地制定工作计划。这也增加了会议的出席人数,因为举办会议无需制定出差计划和通勤时间表。

平衡家庭需求

尽管有些人抱怨,在家中与孩子一同工作具有挑战性,但事实是如果能够灵活在家办公,大部分人们更容易平衡工作和家庭需求。

节约成本

远程办公明显为雇主和员工节省了成本。不仅雇主们的出差成本大大减少,员工们也省去了通勤成本。比如塔吉特(Target)等企业正在通过使员工向旅馆式办公模式转移,来削减昂贵的市中心办公空间。旅馆式办公是一种新概念,这种办公模式下,员工没有固定的办公室,其需预定开放的办公空间。

组织设计

在很多公司一直在努力摆脱层次组织的同时,远程办公进一步推动水平式互动,提升了人与人之间的平等性。在通过Zoom进行的视频会议中,不存在与座位顺序或者亲自到场有关的特权,因为每个人的屏幕大小都一样。

尽管有这么多明显的好处,远程办公对员工及其组织来说也存在一些负面影响。

信任

面对面沟通的好处显而易见。尼利直面这一问题,并提出有关远程建立信任关系的建议。她解释道:“与面对面沟通不同,你与同事在一起相处的好时机可以让你们对彼此产生意外发现,而远程沟通的情况下,你必须特意分享你个性的一面。”

合作

组织用什么替代人们在办公室一起工作时之间发生的合作?答案是新工具以及新会议类型,例如虚拟白板和创意脑力激荡,这些能够为重新建立创造性合作创造条件。

非正式的互动

许多领导者依赖源自“走动管理”的非正式的自发性的互动。高管称,与正式会议相比,其通过即兴互动了解到更多实际情况,但是在远程办公模式下,很难复刻这种非正式的交往。

与客户沟通

与客户在其营业场所会面,尤其是在零售环境中,充分利用所有感官,并与客户建立关系,没有什么比这更合适的沟通方式了。即使对于远程工作的员工,也可以通过一些亲自拜访和会面来建立初始关系,获得洞察力,然后能够通过远程交互来进行关系跟进。

有关这些负面影响的担忧正在促使组织创造混合办公模式。然而,设计功能完善的混合办公模式很复杂。远程办公员工可能认为存在圈内人(现场办公),而他们属于圈外人(线上办公)。远程办公还会创造有关错失恐惧症的焦虑。关于这些担忧,尼利论证道:“我们永远不要把物理位置上的接近与心理上的亲近混为一谈。这是一个谬论。”

员工和企业的性质和需求将塑造未来有关远程办公的决定。我希望不同形式的混合办公环境——一些员工现场办公,而另外一些远程办公——将会成为新常态。在一段时间实验后,企业将确定哪种形式对于其文化产生的效果最好,并为其组织制定清晰的基本原则。

通过创造理想的环境迅速适应远程办公的首席执行官们将建立更强大的企业,并与更强大、更尽心尽力的人才一同取得成功。(钜富中国网)

比尔·乔治是哈佛商学院的高级研究员、美敦力公司(Medtronic)的前董事长兼首席执行官,以及《真北》(Discover Your True North)的作者。

译者:郝秀

审校:汪皓

A great debate is raging in organizations over whether employees will return to their offices or continue to work remotely once COVID-19 is under control and most people are vaccinated.

Gartner’s recent survey finds that about 70% of employees wish to continue some form of remote work. Twitter and Facebook have already given their employees permission to work remotely on a permanent basis. On the other hand, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon calls remote work an “aberration,” urging employees to return to the office to collaborate on ideas.

My Harvard Business School colleague Tsedal Neeley has written a timely, well-researched book called Remote Work Revolution that demonstrates how to make remote work most effective, taking on issues like building trust, productivity, working in agile teams, and leading virtually. Neeley found from her research that “when people have the opportunity to work virtually and the flexibility to arrange job tasks, there is an increase in commitment to their companies and in performance, and a decreased likelihood for attrition.”

Let’s examine some of the pros and cons of remote work. Among the benefits:

Time savings

Without the need for long commutes to work and travel to other cities and countries, people find that they have a lot more time for their work and their families. This “found time” can be used to get more work done or spend more time with family, exercising, or relaxing.

Productivity

Many people—and their companies—were surprised to find they were more productive when working in remote settings. The absence of time wasted in commuting and travel is an obvious benefit, but they also found they were more focused when working without all the typical office distractions.

Schedule flexibility

Remote workers find they can both attend scheduled meetings and preserve quiet time to get solo work completed, giving them more flexibility in their schedules. This has also contributed to increased attendance, since meetings do not have to work around travel plans and commuting schedules.

Balancing family needs

Although some people complain about the challenges of working with children in their homes, the reality is that most people are more easily able to balance their work and family requirements when they have the flexibility to work from home.

Cost savings

Remote work provides clear cost savings for both employers and employees. Employers have dramatically reduced the cost of business travel, while employees avoid commuting costs. Many companies like Target are shedding expensive downtown office space by shifting employees to the new concept of “hoteling,” in which employees do not have permanent offices and book an available open office.

Organization design

While many companies have been moving away from hierarchical organizations, remote work further encourages horizontal interactions with increased equality. In a Zoom meeting, there is no privilege on seating order or physical presence, as everyone’s screen is the same size.

Yet for all these significant benefits, there are several negatives of remote work that both employees and their organizations are coping with.

Trust

There are obvious benefits to in-person communication. Neeley confronts this issue head-on with suggestions for establishing trust remotely. She explains, “Unlike in person, where the ideal time you spend with your coworkers inevitably leads to serendipitous discoveries about one another, in the remote format you have to make a point of sharing your personal side.”

Collaboration

How can organizations replace the collaboration that happens when people work together in the office? New tools, such virtual whiteboards, as well as new meeting formats, such as idea jams, can set the stage for recapturing creative collaboration.

Informal interactions

Many leaders depend on the informal, spontaneous interactions that occur from “managing by wandering around.” Executives claim they learn more about what is going on through these impromptu interactions than they do in formal meetings, but such informal dealings are hard to replicate remotely.

Being with customers

There is nothing quite like meeting with your customers in their place of business, especially in retail settings, to build relationships and make use of all your senses. Even for remote employees, some in-person visits and meetings to build initial relationships can foster insight that can then be followed up with remote interactions.

Concerns over these negatives are stimulating organizations to create hybrid models. Yet designing a fully functioning hybrid model is complicated. Remote workers may perceive that there is an “in-crowd” (in-person) and that they are in the “out-crowd” (online). It can also create anxiety over fear of missing out. To these concerns, Neeley argues, “Let us never mistake physical proximity with psychological closeness. That’s a fallacy.”

The nature and needs of both employees and the business will shape upcoming decisions about remote work. I expect that various forms of hybrid environments—with some employees in the office and others operating remotely—will become the new norm. After a period of experimentation, companies will decide what format works best for their cultures and establish clear ground rules for their organizations.

CEOs who adapt rapidly by creating their ideal environment will build stronger companies and wind up with stronger, more committed talent.

Bill George is a senior fellow at Harvard Business School and former chair and CEO of Medtronic. He is the author of Discover Your True North.

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