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Business Insider: 'No more water cooler conversations': 5 ways managers can adapt to the work-from-home-force now, because it'll be here for a while

30 Mar 2020

Originally found at Business Insider, by Dan Ariely, Nathaniel Barr, Nick Hobson, and Kelly Peters

No longer just a priority for HR managers, designing policies that let employees work from home has made its way to the boardroom. From 2005 to 2015, regular telecommuting (working from home over half the time) went up 115% in the US, and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that among wage and salary workers, approximately 25% worked from home at some point in 2017-2018 (and other estimates are on the order of 43%). Globally, some estimate that a whopping 70% of people work remotely at least once per week. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic upon us, it is not about "letting" — it is being mandated. 

Over the past few weeks, we've seen an exponential rise in the number of companies introducing work-from-home policies. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and Microsoft have swiftly enforced remote work, restricted in-person meetings, and prohibited travel....

Being able to talk in person to work through contentious issues, and the warmth of face-to-face conversations, are vital to collaboration. How can we protect relationships in a world where text in instant messaging is cold and easy to misinterpret? How do we keep up collaboration without in-person contact to inspire new ideas? 

Many assume that for effective collaboration to unfold, teams need to be in constant communication, and carve significant blocks of time working together to accomplish their aims. Research published in the Academy of Management suggests otherwise.


Continue reading the original article at Business Insider

Read the original research in Academy of Management Discoveries

Learn more about the AOM Scholars and explore their work:

Christoph Riedl, Northeastern University and Harvard University

Anita Williams Woolley, Carnegie Mellon University