The Inefficiency Inherent in Remote Work
by Dwayne Phillips
Remote work has its efficiencies and time savers. It isn’t all efficient. There are parts that are wasteful. There are places where we multiply waste. Beware. Learn.
Remote work saves a lot of time. Some of my colleagues spend several hours a day commuting. Working remote, as some of us have done recently, makes their days much more efficient. They work more, have more leisure time, and have a better life.
What could be wrong with that? I mean we have all these Zooming-Slacking-Teams by which we stay in touch. This is great. No trade-offs, right?
Sorry. We always trade one thing for another. Remote work has its inefficiencies.
These audio-video-remote meetings have their stumbles. When is someone finished talking so I can say what I want? What is it that causes us to talk over one another and stop and start and wait and… If you have been in a few remote meetings, you have experienced it. I guess there is enough lag in transmission and reception that our timing is unnatural and we stumble.
And then we over compensate. Being remote, we want to show everyone that we still accomplish as much. We want to show everyone that we still communicate as much.
We schedule more remote meetings than we have face-to-face meetings when we are really “at work.” Instead of two meetings of half-an-hour each, we have five. And each half-hour meeting is preceded by five or ten minutes of getting on early so we are sure to be on at the appointed time.
Too many meetings.
Gosh. This was supposed to be easy. This was supposed to be all good with no bad.
We could learn to make the inefficient meetings more efficient. We are pretty smart and can learn, right? And we could also learn not to schedule the extra meetings. We are pretty smart and can learn, right?
Let’s be pretty smart and learn. Then again, something tells me that we will find some other problems. Nothing is perfect. There are always trade offs.