How many of you are getting the feeling this new business model of telecommuting will become a permanent way of life for some of your staff? Will this become a new line item for budgeting in IT? How will it affect your strategies and road maps?

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Lonnie Johnson on May 06, 2020 • 14 answer
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Users that have shown to have the ability to remain or excel in the remote work life will be offered to remain in that capacity. Hardware costs will be paid for the by the employee.

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Michael on May 06, 2020
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Yes and it's a long time coming. Sometimes a push is needed and this is a big one. A silver lining on a black cloud. On top of many positions being able to prove they are able to maintain productivity, the financial people are seeing wonderful opportunities to save costs.

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Kurt Williams on May 07, 2020
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Absolutely, we will have "non-dedicated" desks for staff that is coming in 1 - 3 days a week and dedicated desks for people who come in 3 and more days based on needs.
We found out, that remote work is really working great for all and that some people can work full time from home. Productivity also goes through the roof and people usually work way longer hours (well, commute is one aspect but also "I want to finish this quickly" is another factor.

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Jay J Keller on May 07, 2020
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I hope it will change. I think IT has been more productive and our service desk has maintained a high level of support. We were already doing 1 day from home per week but I can easily see this growing to more. I think we will also start having discussions about the need for a large HQ facility.

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Fred McClintock on May 07, 2020
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It is easier to be productive when the majority of employees are working from home. When offices reopen and it changes to where 2/3 are working back in the office, the 1/3 that are working from home will start to feel left out and disconnected and potentially become less productive. The challenge as a manager is to make sure the ones that continue to work from home are staying connected and engaged.
Strategies and road maps won't change much but it will open up the opportunity to hire candidates that do not what to relocate for those tough to hire positions.

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Brent Westerkamp on May 07, 2020
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I think it will be permanent for many companies. Not for mine. We were closed completely for 6 weeks and only allowed dept managers remote access (prior to shutdown only IT had remote access). I could see keeping the ability for managers to work remotely, but I know we won't let hourly employees do it. I personally discovered that even though I have worked from home here and there for other things, with my kids out of school it would have been impossible for me to actually be productive. It's not as simple as camping on the couch and opening the laptop (which is what I do when I work from home alone). I would need a separate office to hide in. :)

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Herb Kraft on May 07, 2020
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I agree that a lot of what we have set up for our staff and customers will become permanent. I also agree with the sentiment that many of us should have already arrived at this point and this was a push that lit a fire under us.

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Lonnie Johnson on May 07, 2020
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Pre-COVID many of our employees traveled heavily. A few groups allowed telecommuting to some degree, but several with staff in traditional office space were anti-telecommuting. Now, attitudes have changed. Groups that publicly questioned telecommuting by others (yeah, IT was called out) are commenting on how much more work they are getting done. To the point that we're not rushing to have employees return to the office as local stay-at-home orders are lifted. We fall under essential business exemption so we have had a few employees in the office, but don't plan to materially increase that presence for now. With telecommuting working, there isn't a compelling enough reason to return until we/our employees are comfortable doing so.

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Kirk Hay on May 07, 2020
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There are many companies that have done this as a part of doing business, and have seen increased productivity. Not everyone is suited, have the focus or frankly the space in their home to this effectively. I do think that there will be many companies that will change their view and policies to allow this more often. Based on several polls that have occurred over the last few weeks, I think the employees will be the ones that will demand this. If their current company doesn't continue to allow it, I believe that you will see a lot of movement to companies that do.

Why would you restrict your employee base to a particular locale. There are many talented resources that are remote that can greatly increase your talent level. Don't let this legacy mentality prevent you from hiring the "BEST" talent available!

On the strategies and roadmaps, those definitely will be changed. Those remote capabilities will be brought forward as companies create the policies (HR & Financial) and performance metrics on how to execute a remote worker strategy.

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Rich Phillips on May 07, 2020
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We were already doing 90% of what "telecommuting" involves from a technology/office infrastructure standpoint. From softphones on laptops and mobile devices to hoteling space in our office. Really video and video conferencing has been the biggest change/biggest gripe (some don't like to be on video) and others need a refresher on connecting headsets/Bluetooth devices/webcams to our assets.

My feeling is a large slice of companies will change their telecommuting/work-from-home policies as many, including ours, haven't seen any productivity downturn. I do think the lines of "at work" and "off of work" become more gray then black and white and take on new meanings, but those waters will need to be navigated by HR/People Dept via policy/culture/sr leadership.

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Tim Lefman on May 07, 2020
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There are some great points made in the responses to this question. I do think this was a wake up call for the leadership that was previously opposed to the idea of teleworking. I don't think it will greatly impact my budget, but it will impact organizational policies.

My team supports two different organizations, so I have two different experiences through this pandemic. One organization buys equipment to support a work-from-anywhere perspective and openly encourages that practice, plus they run routine drills where all staff are given short notification for a DR drill. For them, this pandemic was only a mild situation to adjust to from a tech perspective (mostly, those 'ees that chose to work nearly exclusively in the office needed help). The other agency doesn't have that same mindset, and it was a much rougher transition for employees plus a mad scramble for hardware. Definitely some lessons learned once we get back to more of a "normal".

In the end, both organizations are learning that employees really can work from home, some of them extremely effectively. If anything, the downside of that is limited human interaction where you can build true relationships.

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Michael Harger on May 07, 2020
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I believe that the recent pandemic experience has changed the forward mindset and value of telecommuting. If it hasn’t made an impact to an organization’s thinking, they are likely going to be left behind. Organizations will focus strategies on building out and strengthening their remote organizations and online experiences. Likewise, customers will grow increasing comfortable with it and expect better online services. However, I firmly believe that technology will never take the place of the human connection. Smart organizations will still offer a real person if the customer desires it.

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Dave Robinson on May 12, 2020
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I agree with a lot of the responses that companies will either shift to allow more telecommuting on a regular basis or they will be left behind when searching for the best talent. The other consideration is even when the stay-at-home orders are relaxed, the new rules for being in the office still won't "improve" much on the human interaction. In our area, when returning to the office no one else is allowed in your office so you are to keep your door closed. For those working in more of a common area, you will be "isolated" to a row on the opposite end from someone on the next row. While this will allow you to "see" other humans, the interaction will not be any different, maybe even more awkward, since you will still most likely talk via phone or online.

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Kurtis McCauley on May 13, 2020
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I agree with @Rich Phillips. This will lead to changes. I have always felt and still do that a large number of employees are not cut out, have not been adequately trained, or do not have the set up at home to be as productive. Some people need the nearby social contact. Others just need the discipline of having a boss around or like a more regimented routine.. As to some comments, there will be hard choices on who is 'allowed' to work at home. In the current situation everyone was forced into it, and I believe a lot of slack (no pun intended) has been allowed. You should not be able to answer the door or pet the dog (or introduce your dog), during a Zoom call. Currently, we are very 'cordial' due to the pandemic. (agreeable so). There needs to be corporate governance established. Some companies may be ahead of the curve and this is a great opportunity. For those of you who state increased productivity, do your metrics show that or do you just want to believe that? These comments are formulated from decades of management and leadership roles and experimenting with telecommuting in different forms for 20 years. (and I am not an ogre. Read my LI recommendations. My employees love me because I allow them to succeed.

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Mark Eagle on May 14, 2020
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