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Are You a Leader in the Virtual Workplace?

At the organizational level, The PJ Effect impacts the role of leadership. It changes the priorities when evaluating or managing work place performance. Organizational expectations have changed, placing added value on knowledge and skills instead of seniority or title. The workplace has become one of outsourcing and the outsourced.  The virtual workforce is geographically and culturally dispersed.  We are here, there and everywhere. Because the virtual worker must be able to act with autonomy, organizations are becoming flatter. There is a palpable struggle between the traditional need to control employees and the new flexibility virtual workers must have in order to get the job done.

Connectivity allows companies to successfully outsource work around the globe. This is a huge paradigm shift in the business model; not only for manufacturing but for the business process in general and of course, the workplace. Teams consisting of internal, external, first, second and third world labor replace the old face-to-face models, forcing businesses to reevaluate their processes and reinvent themselves. Even the small Mom and Pop business owner can have a supply chain that reaches around the globe.  The entire business environment is rapidly evolving into a more complex and highly interactive space. Interactions facilitated by social software, and real-time audio and video tools are supporting collaboration and driving product innovation.

Since its infancy, communications has been an integral part of an organization’s business structure. In the old workplace, informal communications used to take place at the water cooler, in the lunchroom or at the bar after work. External communications were always a little more removed except for golf outings, sales expos or dinner meetings.  External communications were always designated to a few particular folks while internal communications were carried out according to the organization’s hierarchy and structure, organizational culture or its policies.

Today more than ever, the state of an organization depends on the organization’s leadership, decision-making process and quality of communications, most of which are conducted via technologies. Our behavior has changed so much that even if we are all sitting around a conference table, chances are that we received the agenda via email prior to coming to the meeting. What used to be communications through very clear channels and organizational structure is now less predictable, clear and stable. #VirtualWork #PJEffect #RemoteWork