Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Physically Being Together

Statistics show that 97 percent of the working class has a daily ritual of traveling back and forth to work, and only a mere lucky 3 percent work from home. But the good news is, the number of Stay-at-Home workers rise rapidly; for example the 4.2 million Americans in 2000 working from home represents a 23 percent increase from 1990. Of course, laptops, high-speed Internet access, and smart phones have made home offices nearly indistinguishable from office offices.

Working from Home is only for a lucky few
The benefits of working from home? A survey summarized in the Microsoft whitepaper, Work without Walls, indicates the top 10 benefits of working from home from the employee’s viewpoint in reverse order:

10) Environmentally friendly (23%)
9) More time with family (29%)
8) Less stressful environment (38%)
7) Quieter atmosphere (43%)
6) Eliminate long commute (44%)
5) Less distractions (44%)
4) More productive (45%)
3) Avoid traffic (47%)
2) Save gas (55%)
1) Work/home balance (60%)

But the vanguard IT companies that usually boast of how their staff can work from anywhere in the world has gotten a setback last week when Yahoo! circulated an internal memo which required their employees who work remotely to relocate back to company facilities.   

“Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home,” reads the memo. “We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.” Yahoo! relinquishing its long time working-from-home policy for certain employees should alarm some firms that highly embraced this practice.

No more Working From Home
We partially practice the concept of working from home at FingerTec, but yet we value physically being together for better collaboration and performance very much. How to strike a balance? That is an art to be learned but a good system that is based on management by objective would be more important to measure remote processes.  

For example, we rotated our technical engineers to work from home in night shift for one week a month for them to handle technical inquiries from different time zone clienteles. Three quarters of their time still need to be spent in the office to learn new technologies and to collaborate with peers. Accomodatingly, our system is ready for them to handle their time and attendance clocking and to pick up their works from home.

And, unless you are part of the self-driven class of people or self-employed bosses that run your own business (that constitutes 58 percent of the Stay-at-Home workers); formally incorporated or otherwise, purely work-from-home employees are those who will get less corporate culture influence. If your company has a good corporate culture, this can be a bad thing. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Poetic Way in Business

I love poems, often read and write poems, have published 4 poetry books so far, and have filled my library with poetry books as its main collection. Does my love for literature or especially poems contribute to my business? It may seem that the two interests are polarizing to many people; but to me, they don’t. They roll well into one another like two gearwheels.

But how has my affection in poetry helped in the FingerTec business?

Firstly, in a poem, words are meticulously chosen. The use of words must be frugal; the best poet can get the most out of them in a dozen of lines. This unusual sensitivity towards language spreads its tentacles across the write-ups in our marketing materials including brochures, ads, taglines, website and social media. Metaphor, paronomasia or rhythmic techniques are often used in our taglines to increase readability.

Secondly, the practice of intensifying language in poems polishes my management skill. Any redundant steps would be eliminated just like the unnecessary words in poems. It gets me right to the point, and hierarchical barrier reduces to a minimum. In short, it increases efficiency and effectiveness in an organization.  In today’s business world, you simply can’t waste time and energy as it diverts your focus. A solid poem carries all the right substances in a neat way.  The same with a successful organization, you have to stream the right resources to the right places without any waste. 

Thirdly, it’s all about creativity. Literature values creativity and imagination, particularly poems, as they spurn repetition. Verses are formed with inventive composition of words. I like to add new ideas to refresh our system and product lines, not unlike the characteristics of a poet.

Perhaps most importantly, a poet has to be passionate and should be more sensitive to humanity by nature. All these would help a company raise the bar in corporate social responsibility.  

Just like poems, paradoxically, many points are achieved indirectly. You may call this an oblique approach. As a poem is also known as the gem of the literary hall; when business is operated in a poetic way, it may produce gems too.