Why 100% Work From Home Is Not Effective

Work From Home or WFH as it has become known is one of the few positives to come from the pandemic, but is it effective? There is no doubt that in many cases WFH is very efficient and productive but because extremes are rarely a good idea and humans have evolved as social animals we can see why 100% Work From Home Is Not effective. In other words does 100% WFH move us toward our objective?

When actually doing the current job WFH is generally a good thing but actually producing the output is only one part of the job. Getting together with colleagues and others provides a “spark” that as yet cannot be replicated by Teams or Zoom or VR. The old-fashioned phrase of “pressing the flesh” (meaning to shake someone’s hand rather than something which will get you marched straight down to HR) is as important as ever.

In our Manufacturing Awareness and other courses we emphasise the importance of “walking the floor” in other words really seeing what is going on and really speaking with the people actually doing the job. It is only this way that relationships are built and ideas moved forward.

I recently had breakfast with part of a team at a client’s premises. After chatting we went for an informal tour of one of the labs. In passing, during that tour two new business ideas came about which we discussed over coffee and which we are looking to take forward. It gave me the chance to show I was genuinely interested and could help and was not just the bean counter consultant. This would not have been possible online.

Let’s be sensible. Yes, WFH done well is efficient and productive but for an organisation that wants to move forward (and they all should) the above shows why 100% work from home is not effective in enabling the organisation to meet the objective.

Make sure everyone gets together every so often. Have one day a week, a fortnight or a month when everyone is at your premises or some central point. Make sure that at least part of the day is given over to people just randomly meeting and talking. That’s how ideas begin and business relationships are built. Meet you clients or customers regularly. That way you get the best of both worlds. Neither of these things could be classified as efficient or productive but they sure as heck can be effective.

Still not convinced. If 100% WFH is effective why do thousands of bloggers (a job that probably lends itself to WFH more than any other) hold their annual conference in person and face to face when it could be done more efficiently and more effectively online? You know the answer – it’s more effective.

Let’s not lose that “flesh pressing”. Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater etc etc.

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