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#WFH: How Does Remote Performance Impact Support?

In a virtual workplace, each person’s work environment is different and unique. Although we assume that everyone is on the same page, pulling in the same direction and committed to the same
cause, this is a big assumption. Preventing distractions becomes an individual’s responsibility. We can believe that everyone knows what we know and sees what we see but perception is subjective. Documentation and dissemination of information helps to develop a more complete and up to date set of processes and procedures. Information that is usually transmitted implicitly can be shared. Interactions in a virtual workplace can be supported with effort and intent. The frequency and nature of interactions in a virtual workplace have a direct influence on productivity and performance. By providing more structured processes and procedures and formalizing and documenting them, leadership can take some of the guesswork out of working virtually. By creating onboarding training, ongoing learning opportunities and addressing the needs of the individual as well as the organization, managers can set realistic and supportive expectations about productivity, time and connectivity.

Regular structured activities need to include the social and emotional aspects of the virtual work-place, not just reaching business goals.
Virtual workers need to be self-monitoring and proactive. They need to actively seek information and interactions. Social presence and social interactions in the virtual workplace make all the difference. The kinds of interactions individuals have, especially those that are informal and observable, are extremely important to virtual worker success. There is a great deal of opportunity for organizations to increase their efforts to support the virtual workplace. As technology continues to provide us with enhanced opportunities to work any place and any time, leadership in organizations needs to take on the challenge.

Case in Point: Besco Biotech, LLC

Besco is a startup firm in the biotech market. Besco is opening stores in London, New York, Toronto, Sydney and Los Angeles this month. Their goal is to have quick growth around the globe and take a considerable share of the market. They are customer focused and sales oriented. They have departments including business development, supply chain management, operations, and human resources. They are committed to leadership development at all levels. Their headquarters are in the UK but they have other new offices opening up in several countries. Besco is trying to identify what store managers might need to operate efficiently.

1. What questions might they ask? What kinds of resources might Besco want to provide for these managers?

2. What tasks might be business critical? What decisions might need to be made immediately?

3. How about the sales people? What might they need? The office staff? HR?

4. Why might it be important to define job performance first? How does job performance impact support?

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