Humble workers have no place to hide

Do average workers thrive more when they work from home or when they are in the office? This wasn’t a question I thought much of before the pandemic, although if I had, I would have guessed that a second class is preferable to home scoring.

That’s certainly what some top executives have been suggesting, as efforts to refill offices emptied of Covid have picked up pace this year. Work from home fits”least share“It’s not good for people who want to,” according to WeWork president, Sandeep Mathrani.Accelerates‘,” says Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase.

But what if the opposite is true? Max Thowless-Reeves is a former private banker at UBS who runs his own wealth management firm in Stafford, north of Birmingham, where he is a visiting teaching fellow at Aston Business School.

Written not long ago e-mail to the Financial Times, which filed an arrest warrant. “The middle level is hiding in offices,” he said, adding that it was easier to identify the employees who added the most value when everyone was working remotely. When I called him last week to find out why, he said something interesting. During the pandemic, his company started using Google Docs a lot, which meant people were working on the same material at the same time, from their homes.

“You can see everyone writing away on the same document,” he said, adding that this means you can also see who quickly responded to a query, made a helpful suggestion, or contributed in general — and who didn’t.

“It became clear to us – and it wasn’t beforehand – which team members were really driving us forward,” he said.

His company has only 15 employees, yet his experience is worth considering. Just because someone is in the office, right in front of your nose, doesn’t mean they’re doing anything as useful as someone who works hard, but invisibly, at home. The discussion does not end here.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a retired businessman in England who was trying to close three separate property deals. His parents recently passed away, leaving enough money for both of his two sons to get a mortgage on their first house in London. In addition to selling his parents’ house, he was helping his offspring buy a property in London.

That is, he was dealing with three groups of real estate agents, surveyors, mortgage lenders, and attorneys, all of whom worked a bit at home and provided what he said was a “consistent level of amazing and unprofessional service.”

This included: searches performed on the wrong property; wrong sale price on a vital contract; Wrong time in mortgage application and wrong names written on documents. To achieve this, an attorney fails to withdraw the necessary mortgage money in time to complete it, leaving one of his children to face losing his deposit and having a home.

Were the workers modest or was something else to blame? This guy thinks telecommuting might be the problem.

“I think working from home has tip the scales toward chaos,” he said, adding that people are likely to be confused and left to deal on their own. A lawyer’s job he’d used three times in the past without any problems – when she was working in an office – was “full of bugs” now that she’s home.

It is, of course, one single case. But it chimes with some of the findings of a study that looked at how more than 10,000 workers at a large Asian tech company succeeded before and after Covid forced them home.

The researchers found the total working hours shoot About 30 percent, including a lot of work done outside normal business hours.

But the extra hours brought no increase in production, so the study concluded that overall productivity had fallen by about 20 percent.

This does not necessarily make the skeptics about working from home right. The study did not directly measure the quality of work performed. All of this underscores the complexity of Covid’s great experiment with remote work – and why it’s too early to draw firm conclusions about it yet.

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