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#WFH: We’re Not Going Back

Technologies never go back. Managing a virtual workforce can be challenging. At times, it has proved to be overwhelming for many organizational leaders. It is a challenge that will not go away in the 21st century. The virtual workplace is here to stay. The opportunities it presents both to the individual and the organization far exceed the challenges. Aided by ever-better technology, the trend toward working remotely is gaining momentum and refuses to retreat. While some companies seesaw about their ability to embrace this new frontier, most would agree that the opportunities are there. Many statistics support cost savings in terms of rent, utilities and facility maintenance. Others indicate remote workers are more productive, report higher degrees of satisfaction and have a better work-life balance. Still others indicate that a remote workforce allows organizations to optimize talent and recruit the best people for the job from anywhere around the globe.

Building and sustaining positive relations is important in a workplace that is more complex, more disconnected and more time pressured than the one that existed in the 20th century. It is important that virtual teams collaborate and that leaders from all levels in the organization have the social and communication skills to bring people together, make them feel comfortable and value their contributions. The new workplace has changed the way we view place and time. It values results not just presence. It is also more dependent on technology, systems and processes that support success.

Virtual workers are more agile, more autonomous and usually more productive. When the structure of the organization is less hierarchical, there is more room for contribution and creativity. There is an opportunity to set goals, get buy-in and create a trusting and productive environment. This leads to innovation, improved life balance and personal free-dom. From a business and operations standpoint, there is the opportunity to cut costs, meet objec-tives and attract workers from global workplace who have the best skills, talents and diversity. The virtual workplace allows companies to be more agile and more customer focused. Communication and mobile technology breakthroughs have given us the freedom to reinvent how we work.

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