Dave Desforges began piloting "Work From Home" solutions over 3 years ago. His role required identifying additional candidate requirements and necessary remote work practices for both employees and managers at Sun Microsystems. His current work encompasses blending appropriate technology, organizational practices, and workplace environments to support mobile and distributed teams.
Jim McGee is currently a Director at Huron Consulting Group. He has spent much of the last 30 years working to understand, design, and apply information and technology innovations in organizations. Before Huron, Jim taught at the Kellogg School and was one of the founding partners of DiamondCluster International. With Larry Prusak, he was the co-author of Managing Information Strategically (Wiley, 1993). Jim has both an MBA and a doctorate in Information Technology, Organization, and Strategy from the Harvard Business School.
Regina Miller has more than 18 years of experience in Organization Development, Human Resources, Leadership Development and International Operations. Regina recently launched a global consultancy called The Seventh Suite which assists growing companies bolster their competitive edge via aligned strategy and progressive people practices. Her last corporate job was as the VP HR/OD for Oskar (Vodafone) which has been dubbed one of the fastest growing mobile operators in Eastern Europe. More info here.
Giovanni Rodriguez - Through a combination of luck and persistence, Giovanni has worked in the company of some of the most interesting and colorful leaders in several worlds: the law, theater, and technology. Today, he is a principal at Eastwick Communications, a Silicon Valley PR agency, where he advises both emerging companies and market leaders on executive leadership, public speaking, marketing strategy and media relations. He has worked for, consulted and advised numerous businesses and organizations including HP, Stanford University, Fujitsu Computer Systems, Cadence Design Systems, VMware, the American Arbitration Association, and the Unified Court System of New York. He is a graduate of Princeton University (Religion and Anthropology), and he has done graduate course work at the Columbia School of Journalism and N.Y.U.
Jim Ware is a cofounder of the Work Design Collaborative and the Future of Work program. He has over 30 years experience in research, executive education, consulting, and management, including five years on the faculty of the Harvard Business School. He was the lead author of The Search for Digital Excellence, (McGraw-Hill, 1998), and holds Ph.D., M.A., and B.Sc. degrees from Cornell University and an MBA (With Distinction) from the Harvard Business School.
In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline
I just posted this note over at my own Future of Work weblog but wanted to share it with FutureTense devotees as well.
I am very pleased that several of the Future of Work corporate members (Forest City Covington, Agilent, Boeing, and IBM) and the Business Community Centertm concept that Charlie Grantham and I are promoting are mentioned in the December 12 issue of Business Week ("The Easiest Commute of All" - paid subscription required to access), now available online and scheduled to be in print on newsstands everywhere on Monday, December 5.
Special thanks to author Michelle Conlin for her interest, enthusiasm, and perseverance in getting the story written and published. I especially liked Michelle's description of remote and mobile workers as "post-geographic."
I think this excerpt from the article says it all:
"More and more, the creative class is becoming post-geographic. Location-independent. Office-agnostic. Demographers and futurists call this trend the rise of "the distributed workforce." Distributed workers are those who have no permanent office at their companies, preferring to work in home offices, cafes, airport lounges, high school stadium bleachers, client conference rooms, or some combination of what [author Richard] Florida calls the 'no-collar workplace.' They are people who do team projects over the Web and report to bosses who may be thousands of miles away."
Michelle really gets it:
"Indeed, at many companies across America, the most innovative new product may be the structure of the workplace itself. Today, every knowledge worker has the tools to work from pretty much anywhere: a laptop, a mobile phone, and global, high-speed Internet access that is becoming as ubiquitous as pay phones used to be. Teams are increasingly transnational, warming undersea cables with Net meetings, conference calls, and collaborative projects involving large, far-flung groups. Increasingly, no one is sure of where anyone else is anymore; what's amazing is how little it appears to matter."
Among the important examples and data she cites:
Charlie Grantham's prediction that by 2012 fully 40% of the workforce will be distributed
At IBM 40% of the workforce has no office at the company
At ATT one-third of the managers are post-geographic
At Sun Microsystems close to 50% of employees are equipped to work from just about anywhere; and Sun's virtual workers "are 15% more productive than their office-tethered brethren"
Agilent closed 48 offices in 2003; today 70% of its workforce is connected remotely (and Agilent estimates that its virtual workers cost the company 60% less than their in-office peers)
Finally, at Boeing, Jeffrey Hobbs, Director of the Workplace of the Future, says that distributed work is a necessity.
"It's a key to retaining younger workers as well. At Boeing, the average employee is 46 years old, says Jeffrey Hobbs, Boeing Co.'s (BA ) director of the workplace of the future. So to draw younger workers, the company has no choice but to offer the flexibility they prize. Yet its virtual work program is a smash with all ages. 'Of the 8,000 employees participating, I've only heard of a few who have said they want to come back to a regular office,' Hobbs says."
Do you have a good distributed work story? What it's like, how it works, what it's worth? I'm always on the lookout for more case examples, and I'd love to hear from any of you about your experiences.