There’s Nothing “Radical” About This WFH Plan

This is the latest in a series of major companies having made similar announcements, including Microsoft. But Synchrony’s proposal appears to be more radical in that it:

Allows all its US employees to work from home permanently.

Requires some employees to work from home all the time with no access to an office.

Requires all employees to work from home at least some of the time.

Requires even management with “assigned seats” to work from home at least 1-2 days a week.

In a memo to employees, reported by Bloomberg today, CEO Keane and Synchrony President Brian Doubles explained that Synchrony will have three types of offices:

Virtual offices: employees will work from home permanently, and there is no office they can go to.

Hoteling offices: employees work at home permanently, but if they need to, can book a desk at a nearby office location.

Hybrid offices: employees can work from home but they have an assigned seat at a nearby office where they can work at least three days a week.

Synchrony Financial Disclosed Radical Work-from-Home Plan, Layoffs, and “Office Footprint” Reduction — https://wolfstreet.com/2020/10/20/consumer-finance-giant-synchrony-disclosed-radical-permanent-work-from-home-plan/

I have been a WFH (work from home) warrior since 2006. There is absolutely nothing radical about the plan outlined above. I’ve been patiently waiting all these years for the business world to come around to my way of thinking. To be be clear, a lot of businesses would not adopt WFH without a nasty virus driving the agenda.

Too bad I’m currently a W2 worker. If I was still consulting I would make a MINT advising companies how to do the WFH thing effectively.

And what not to do when you’re on a Zoom call.

Nationwide Moves To Permanent Work-From-Home Strategy

“We’ve been investing in our technological capabilities for years, and those investments really paid off when we needed to transition quickly to a 98 percent work-from-home model,” said Nationwide CEO Kirt Walker.

I’ve been working from home for nearly 14 years.  Social distancing comes naturally to me at this point in time.  It’s interesting to me a virus will be remembered as the Gladwell tipping point for showing the corporate world  a better way of working.

98% permanent WFH!

Alcohol Delivery Sales Surge Amidst Social Distancing — VinePair

Americans are spending more time than ever at home right now, with trips outdoors limited to only the absolutely necessary. While alcohol businesses, including wine and liquor stores, wineries, breweries, and distilleries, have been deemed “essential” in states where work restrictions are in effect, U.S. drinkers are increasingly making their alcohol purchases online. Over the…

via Alcohol Delivery Sales Surge Amidst Social Distancing — VinePair

Triple. Digit. Growth.

As an EM doc said in a prior post Coronavirus made simple by your friendly neighborhood emergency physician when you fall don’t go to the ER.

Tulsa Remote

A year after Tulsa Remote launched, the first participants — a mix of expats from expensive coastal cities, wanderlusty young adults, and those with roots in the region — say they’ve found many of the things they were looking for: a more comfortable and affordable quality of life, new neighbors they like, enough of an economic cushion to ease the stress of buying new furniture, and a fresh start. Many say they’ll stick around past the end of the one-year program. More than that: Some of them tell stories of positive personal transformation that are so dramatic, they might appear too perfect, almost canned. But after checking in with participants over the course of eight months, I found that many of them remained just as effusive. Maybe it’s something about Tulsa. Or maybe it’s something about Tulsa Remote.

According to an analysis of U.S. Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics data by the remote work consultancy Global Workspace Analytics and Flexjobs, telecommuting grew more than 150% between 2005 and 2017. This year, the American Community Survey found that the fastest-growing commute was no commute, as work-from-home arrangements become more popular everywhere.

What Happened When Tulsa Paid People to Work Remotely

I love Tulsa.  It’s kind of like a really great restaurant you want to tell all of your friends about but you don’t because if everyone knows about it the place gets too crowded or the food quality slips.  But for a city to pay remote workers to come live and work is certainly a grand experiment.

My #1 Project currently lives in Owasso, a suburb of Tulsa.  He could have gotten a job anywhere but decided to settle and stick roots in the Tulsa metro.

The Citylab article is long but worth reading if you’re interested in tele-commuting and remote work issues.

Here’s a taste of Oklahoma for y’all.

Is Working Remotely Bad for Your Health?

On the other hand, research from Cornell University finds that remote workers are at greater risk for feeling personally and professionally isolated than their in-office colleagues. Social isolation has been associated with significant increases in both mortality risk and risk for a heart attack or stroke. More research had tied social isolation to depression and problems sleeping.

Nice article from Time online.  Read it here.

I’ve been working from home since 2006.  I totally get the social isolation aspect.

Fortunately the social isolation negatives are mitigated by my commute.

It takes me less than a minute after leaving the office to grab a beer from the fridge.

How These Remote Workers Convinced Their Bosses And Clients They Can Work From Anywhere

“Managers know who is a high performer and who is not—it’s not a secret.   If you have people that you’re afraid if they’re working out of your sight, then they aren’t getting work done, why are they working for you in the first place?  That’s not a ‘work remotely’ problem. That’s a management problem.”

Erica Warren

Source: How These Remote Workers Convinced Their Bosses And Clients They Can Work From Anywhere

IBM’s Remote Work Reversal Is A Losing Battle Against The New Normal

In both a 2014 white paper by IBM’s Smarter Workplace Institute and in a conference panel the company hosted just weeks ago, its own experts suggested that remote workers tend to be happier, less stressed, more productive, more engaged with their jobs and teams, and believe that their companies are more innovative as a result of flexible work arrangements.

Source: IBM’s Remote Work Reversal Is A Losing Battle Against The New Normal

Memo to IBM:

Why?