5/25/2012

New Ways of Working Includes Virtual Offices, Telecommuting

LOS ANGELES, CA—New Ways of Working, a research consortium focused on alternative workplace solutions, has some new revelation for the virtual office world.

The group’s latest research report is called Overcoming Barriers to New Ways of Working—and it’s chock full of insights. The report, which covers new ways of working like virtual office space, workshifting, telecommuting and various other forms of flexible work, offers a realistic inside look into the elements of a successful workplace implementation. The report also identifies best practices for program success.

“We observed that, despite the rapid adoption of new ways of working in the past several years, penetration into mainstream practice remains low,” says Joe Aki Ouye, co-founder of New Ways of Working. “New WOW’s benchmark studies consistently found the same barriers. Cultural issues of entitlement and trust scored highest among the barriers affecting workplace change.”

Cultural challenges were mentioned by nearly two-thirds of the organizations in the study. Respondents struggled with how to address negative attitudes among employees and management, fear of change, entitlement concerns, and company traditions. Perhaps the most important lesson was providing employees choice over where and how they worked whenever possible. Some may prefer coworking arrangements while others may prefer virtual offices or some other remote set up.

“There’s a tension between the ‘top-down’ approach versus the ‘choice’ approach,” says Jim Creighton, Network Director for New Ways to Work. “Our experience is when workers feel they can choose, they perceive new ways of working as a benefit. When they feel forced, they feel something is being taken away from them.”

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