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#WFH: The Key is to Take Action

Technology connects the virtual workplace and technology gives us an avenue to analyze performance in this new environment. Old measures like adoption and satisfaction have little value in supporting virtual performance. Efficiency, effectiveness and linked outcomes are a good place to start. As data becomes more available and evaluations more focused on supportive and enhancement measures, business will take more responsibility for results. There will be less manual intervention and less biased interpretations. The reality is that systems are much more effective at this than humans if the system is well design and administered. The current trend toward business intelligence systems that convert data into information and then make recommendations based on those results are a pre-cursor to performance intelligence systems. Human performance and innovation are still at the heart of the workplace. “The real revolution is not in the machines that calculate data but in the data itself and how we use it” (Mayer-Schoberger & Cukier, 2013).

There are many models available for evaluation and they run the gambit from very simple to very complex. If the model is too simple it is impossible to discover cause and effect. If it is too complex it may never get implemented. Finally, business and the virtual workplace operate at a very fast pace and even within system analytic tools often the decisions are made without the consulting the data. Because analyzing performance sounds so over-whelming, sometimes we just don’t start. If we can use performance analytics to determine what is missing and how we can support virtual workers, we have come a long way. Experimental design and determining real cause and effect are not always the only way forward. Many companies are not willing to fund experimental designs and with good rea-son. Business moves at the speed of light not at the speed of hypothesis testing.

As long as we have a good understanding, something is better than nothing. The main reason to measure performance is to help the business and the person. Processes, systems and gaps caused by inefficiencies can come to light. If there are cultural issues that need some work, evaluation can point this out as well. Ignoring the problem never solves it. Efficiency improvement is one of the best benefits that comes from implementing a performance evaluation system. This is true in the virtual workplace as well. We want to focus on interpretation, take the action required to improve virtual performance and not get lost in the analytics. Performance evaluation can be a valuable path for helping us make the virtual workplace an efficient and satisfying place to work. The key is to take action.

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