Skip to main content

#WFH: Remote Work Offers Golden Opportunities

Most organizations don’t realize that performance measurement lies at the heart of improvement. There are many examples that prove over and over again that failure to measure and determine cause and effect relationships can result in us accepting assumptions as truths. Data isn’t everything but it is a good place to start when we look at performance in the virtual workplace.
From bloodletting to bumble bees to Garth Brooks, there are stories about failing to measure that prove how fallible humans can be. For more than 2000 years, the human cure for illness involved bloodletting. Today we consider this unthinkable. George Washington died of it and until Pierre Lou-is decided to measure it in 1850 and show that the practice did not increase recovery rates, it continued. It took a while for his discovery to be adopt-ed. Eventually, however, his measurements lead to abandoning what was at best worthless and at worst a deadly process.

The scientific community has its flaws but generally embraces measurement and evaluation. Unfortunately, business is not as disciplined as science. Some businesses have excellent measurement systems for certain financial aspects. But for performance measurement, and particularly virtual performance measurement, most businesses are still in the dark ages. Like physicians in the 1100s, leadership is making decisions based on subjective information, innuendo, and beliefs about what drives performance that simply are not true. Sometimes they get it right. Mostly they don’t.

When it comes to identifying relationships, nothing really beats measurement. Measurement works for identifying problems and well as opportunities. We avoid measurement for many reasons. One of those reasons is we are afraid of being wrong. An-other is we are not sure what to measure. That’s how the story of why bees can’t fly came about. About 90 years ago, a scientist proved that bees can’t fly. The measurement was based on the aerodynamics of the bees’ wings. The bees’ wings were thought to be a smooth plane. The scientist never looked under the microscope. The media got hold of the story and published it. Both the scientist and the media lived to regret it. Eventually each issued an apology, but the legend lives on. Many business decisions about workplace performance are based on the same kind of legends. This “Flight of the Bumble Bee” logic is often emotionally charged. People are supposed to be inspired by long F2F meetings, aren’t they? I have heard this from managers of virtual employees more than once: “I can only control people when I have them under my roof. If I can’t see them I can’t influence them.”

Winning these kinds of arguments can depend on making sure that performance data is interpreted and presented in a meaningful way. If people are go-ing to embrace performance analytics for the virtual workplace, they need to be trained to understand the difference between data driven decision making and gut instinct. Aligning with business objectives needs to be more than reactive.

#AI@Work, #WFH, #RemoteWork,  #WorkFromHome, #BobbeGB, #BobbeBaggio, #ThePajamaEffect, #Touchpoints, #Virtual Workplace, #Work From Home #PJEffect, #LinkedInNewsLive