Bill Harris founded Facilitated Systems in 1999 to help people by helping the organizations in which they spend so much of their time. He uses a number of approaches to help them make sense of the puzzles and problems organizations face.
Labels: business, distributed work, management, productivity, systems thinking, work
posted by Bill Harris at 7/25/2008 permalink
How 'bout mySQL? 24,000,000 installations, 50,000 downloads a day. The three founders live in three different countries, and their 400+ employees live on every continent but Antarctica.They get it!
Thanks, Tom; that's a great example. Got more? Others of you have more?
Well, there's Avaya, a Lucent/AT&T spinoff. They told us they have 1,000,000 square feet of office space for rent because they sent a huge percentage of their people home to work.IBM says they've saved $50 million (If I recall correctly) in real estate costs from their telework programs.ExpressJet's entire 'call center' is staffed by people who work at home. And McDonalds is introducing happy work-at-home order takers, instead of surly minorities, at the drive through.I'll see if I can think of more
Sun Microsystems estimates that they save $70 million a year in real estate cost thanks to telework. McKesson saves $2 million dollars a year by using home-based telephone staff. 40% of KPMG’s staff works at home and on the road, dunno what that means in savings...but figure it costs about $10,000 / year / employee for real estate and related costs.For companies that need to relocate staff, the costs can be enormous. Nortel estimates that it runs up to $100,000 to move an employee from one city to another. Even a move from one cubicle to another can cost $2,500. eWork eliminates those costs. Plus they can live in nicer or cheaper (or both) neighborhoods.The there's absenteeism:Nortel found that the entire cost to outfit and equip an eWorker can be made up in the first year if only 3.5 days can be saved in absenteeism.
Dow Chemical, was able to lop off a third of its non-real estate administrative costs by inviting its workers to go home.
Thanks, Tom, for the rather long list of examples. Perhaps it will help some who are nervous about being early adopters in this area. I might think that surliness is a trait that seems to be spread across all groupings of people, though. I wonder if working remotely affects surliness.
Surliness in the office is bad enough, apparently, that at least one author wrote a whole book about it: The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't by Robert I. Sutton.Others refer to some workplaces as "toxic energy dumps." (Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Stephen C. Lundin).But does working at home improve your attitude? Ravi Gajendran at Penn State did a metastudy of 46 other studies covering 12,833 telecommuters and he says it does. Studies we've looked at say absenteeism goes down and retention goes up, both indicators of improved attitude.But if someone is an asshole to begin with . . . . Actually, the past is a very good predictor of future behavior. If someone was a bully in school, if their parents and siblings were assholes there's a good chance they will be too, regardless of where they work.It's not very scientific, but try Googling someone's name and the word asshole.Another way to tell is by how complicated their Starbucks order is. If someone orders a "decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n'-Low and one NutraSweet," they're definitely an asshole.
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