Friday, July 1, 2011

Remote working: Employees' needs not being met

Telecommuting and virtual offices are becoming more pervasive across enterprises, but it's presenting a trade-off. "... while workers want autonomy and flexibility, they also want social connection," writes Jessica Stillman in a recent GigaOM article.

We're seeing this among enterprises too. One of the common challenges executives are grappling with is how to overcome the sense of isolation employees can get when working remotely.

In talking with clients and prospects, we're finding that this sense of isolation tends to stem from the tools they're typically using to work remotely -- Web meetings, video conferencing, e-mail, and IM. As I touched upon in the comment I left on Jessica's article, some executives are telling us these tools don't provide the level of engagement necessary to build and maintain corporate culture.

There's clearly a trade-off happening at many organizations with remote working initiatives. Some, however, are taking steps to resolve the tension, as Jessica uncovered. Flip over to her GigaOM article to see what she found. What do you think of those approaches? If you have a remote working strategy, are you experiencing similar challenges?

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