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居家办公意味着更自由和更快乐?

居家办公意味着更自由和更快乐?

Laura Vanderkam 2020年08月04日
在家远程工作对雇主和雇员均构成了严重危害。

图片来源:Jan Hakan Dahlstrom—Getty Images

几年前,当我作为一名外部顾问,在一家全虚拟公司的年会上主持一个时间管理研讨会时,我注意到了一点:这些人工作量很大。时间日志记录了深夜还有人在发送电子邮件。一位员工曾经提到希望有更多的时间和她的狗一起玩,她雇了一个帮助她遛狗的人,因为尽管她在家工作,但她并不认为她能够休息一下,并和她的宠物出去玩。当我开始与更多的全虚拟公司开展研讨会时,我注意到了同样的现象。许多远程工作者没有限制来保障非工作时间。不用说,他们的压力水平反映了这一点。

当今年3月新冠疫情大流行迫使整个公司在一夜之间转化为线上工作时,我想起了那个孤独的狗主人。根据FlexJob于2020年年初发布的一份报告,远程工作在过去12年中增长了159%,但长期以来,人们一直对它持反对态度。如果让管理者们来解释一下,你最终会得到这样的答案:我怎么知道人们不会整天在家里看Netflix?

但Netflix并没有真正的危害。真正的危害是:如果工作和生活没有物理层面上的分离,人们将永远不会停止工作,这会导致他们精疲力竭,从而让员工和他们的公司付出巨大的代价。高明的管理者会解决这个问题,而不是担心员工会在没有被监视的情况下偷懒。

这种对员工消极怠工的顾虑很被难量化,但不妨这样想:盖洛普(Gallup)3月中旬的一项民意调查发现,尽管在各种民意调查中,大多数员工表示他们愿意偶尔远程办公,但只有31%的美国员工曾经远程办公过。到4月初,在家工作的员工比例已经上升到62%。很明显,在家可以做的工作比在公司做的要多得多。

这种对员工消极怠工的顾虑也反映在批准员工居家工作这件事上。多年来,我为我的书和时间日记项目研究了成千上万的时间日志,我发现,在疫情之前,周五是最常见的可以在家工作的日子。Accountemps的一项调查发现,人力资源经理们将周五视为一周中工作效率最低的一天。对此,我认为这是一种巧合。如果我们假设在家工作的人并不是真在工作,那么我们最好降低机会成本。

我真希望这次疫情能够帮助管理者们消除这种顾虑。但在这次疫情让每个人都只能留在家里工作之后,我开始在我的播客里听到我的听众们说(关于在家工作的事),一些公司开始要求员工每天早上9点签到,以确保每个人都在自己的办公桌前。

员工们意识到了公司对他们的这种怀疑。因此,人们倾向于让聊天群组软件Slack一整天都开着,以便可以立即回复邮件;放弃自己的休息时间,以免有人认为安静就意味着他们在狂看《怪奇物语》(Stranger Things)。由于没有通勤,人们不知道什么时候该宣布一天结束了,所以他们会工作到深夜。没有休息的长时间工作与精力的耗尽密切相关。一项民意调查发现,精疲力竭的员工积极寻找新工作的可能性是其他员工的2.6倍,其中63%的员工更愿意请病假。

但这种缺乏工作与生活的界限并不是不可避免的。当我作为一名时间管理顾问查看全虚拟公司员工的时间日志时,我注意到,有孩子或需要看护他人的员工更善于创建一个停歇点,这不无道理。因为必须有人要送保姆回家或者去托儿所接孩子。

明智的管理者会鼓励没有孩子的员工想出其他“个人情况”来结束一天的工作。几年前,当我意识到我每天一直到晚上10点的时间都花在了工作和上网的时候,我就参加了三个社区唱诗班。在周一、周二和周四,我必须在下午6点左右停止工作去排练。我因此而变得更有效率,也更快乐。

当然,如今唱诗班可能已经过时了,但我还有个想法。任何公司在上午9点进行网络考勤签到的同时,还需要在下午4点45分进行网络下班打卡。这给了员工们一个停歇点,从而他们能够活着第二天再进行漫长的工作——或许也可以花些时间和他们的狗在一起。(财富中文网)

劳拉·范德卡姆著有《新概念办公场所:成功之士如何在家办公》(The New Corner Office: How The Most Successful People Work From Home)一书,该书于7月21日出版。

编译:刘心辰

几年前,当我作为一名外部顾问,在一家全虚拟公司的年会上主持一个时间管理研讨会时,我注意到了一点:这些人工作量很大。时间日志记录了深夜还有人在发送电子邮件。一位员工曾经提到希望有更多的时间和她的狗一起玩,她雇了一个帮助她遛狗的人,因为尽管她在家工作,但她并不认为她能够休息一下,并和她的宠物出去玩。当我开始与更多的全虚拟公司开展研讨会时,我注意到了同样的现象。许多远程工作者没有限制来保障非工作时间。不用说,他们的压力水平反映了这一点。

当今年3月新冠疫情大流行迫使整个公司在一夜之间转化为线上工作时,我想起了那个孤独的狗主人。根据FlexJob于2020年年初发布的一份报告,远程工作在过去12年中增长了159%,但长期以来,人们一直对它持反对态度。如果让管理者们来解释一下,你最终会得到这样的答案:我怎么知道人们不会整天在家里看Netflix?

但Netflix并没有真正的危害。真正的危害是:如果工作和生活没有物理层面上的分离,人们将永远不会停止工作,这会导致他们精疲力竭,从而让员工和他们的公司付出巨大的代价。高明的管理者会解决这个问题,而不是担心员工会在没有被监视的情况下偷懒。

这种对员工消极怠工的顾虑很被难量化,但不妨这样想:盖洛普(Gallup)3月中旬的一项民意调查发现,尽管在各种民意调查中,大多数员工表示他们愿意偶尔远程办公,但只有31%的美国员工曾经远程办公过。到4月初,在家工作的员工比例已经上升到62%。很明显,在家可以做的工作比在公司做的要多得多。

这种对员工消极怠工的顾虑也反映在批准员工居家工作这件事上。多年来,我为我的书和时间日记项目研究了成千上万的时间日志,我发现,在疫情之前,周五是最常见的可以在家工作的日子。Accountemps的一项调查发现,人力资源经理们将周五视为一周中工作效率最低的一天。对此,我认为这是一种巧合。如果我们假设在家工作的人并不是真在工作,那么我们最好降低机会成本。

我真希望这次疫情能够帮助管理者们消除这种顾虑。但在这次疫情让每个人都只能留在家里工作之后,我开始在我的播客里听到我的听众们说(关于在家工作的事),一些公司开始要求员工每天早上9点签到,以确保每个人都在自己的办公桌前。

员工们意识到了公司对他们的这种怀疑。因此,人们倾向于让聊天群组软件Slack一整天都开着,以便可以立即回复邮件;放弃自己的休息时间,以免有人认为安静就意味着他们在狂看《怪奇物语》(Stranger Things)。由于没有通勤,人们不知道什么时候该宣布一天结束了,所以他们会工作到深夜。没有休息的长时间工作与精力的耗尽密切相关。一项民意调查发现,精疲力竭的员工积极寻找新工作的可能性是其他员工的2.6倍,其中63%的员工更愿意请病假。

但这种缺乏工作与生活的界限并不是不可避免的。当我作为一名时间管理顾问查看全虚拟公司员工的时间日志时,我注意到,有孩子或需要看护他人的员工更善于创建一个停歇点,这不无道理。因为必须有人要送保姆回家或者去托儿所接孩子。

明智的管理者会鼓励没有孩子的员工想出其他“个人情况”来结束一天的工作。几年前,当我意识到我每天一直到晚上10点的时间都花在了工作和上网的时候,我就参加了三个社区唱诗班。在周一、周二和周四,我必须在下午6点左右停止工作去排练。我因此而变得更有效率,也更快乐。

当然,如今唱诗班可能已经过时了,但我还有个想法。任何公司在上午9点进行网络考勤签到的同时,还需要在下午4点45分进行网络下班打卡。这给了员工们一个停歇点,从而他们能够活着第二天再进行漫长的工作——或许也可以花些时间和他们的狗在一起。(财富中文网)

劳拉·范德卡姆著有《新概念办公场所:成功之士如何在家办公》(The New Corner Office: How The Most Successful People Work From Home)一书,该书于7月21日出版。

编译:刘心辰

A few years ago, when I, as an outside consultant, was leading a time management workshop at an all-virtual company’s in-person annual retreat, I noticed something: these people were working a lot. Time logs chronicled late night email sessions. One employee—who’d mentioned wanting more time to play with her dog—had hired a dog walker because, despite working from home, she didn’t think she could take a break to go outside with her pet. As I began doing workshops with more all-virtual companies, I noticed this same phenomenon. Many remote workers had no boundaries protecting non-working time. Needless to say, their stress levels reflected this.

I was thinking of that forlorn dog owner as the COVID-19 pandemic forced whole organizations to go virtual overnight in March. Remote work has grown rapidly—up 159% in the last 12 years, per an early 2020, pre-lockdown report from FlexJobs—but there’s long been resistance to it. Push managers for an explanation and you’ll eventually get some version of this: How do I know people won’t watch Netflix all day?

But Netflix isn’t the real danger. The real danger is that without a physical separation between work and the rest of life, people won’t ever stop working—risking burnout, which has huge costs for employees and their organizations. Wise managers address this, rather than worrying that people will slack the second they aren’t being watched.

It’s hard to quantify this fear of slacking, but consider this: One Gallup poll in mid-March found that only 31% of U.S. workers had ever worked remotely, despite a majority of workers saying in various polls that they would like to do so occasionally. By the beginning of April, the proportion of workers who’d ever worked from home had risen to 62%. Clearly, many more jobs could be done from home than were.

This fear of slacking is also reflected in which work-from-home requests are granted. I’ve studied thousands of time logs over the years for my books and time diary projects, and I found that, pre-COVID, Friday was by far the most common work from home day. When people ask to work from home one day a week, Friday is generally the day managers agree to. One survey from Accountemps found that Friday is seen by HR managers as one of the least productive days of the week. I don’t think this isn’t a coincidence. If we assume that people who are working from home aren’t really working, best to minimize the opportunity cost.

I wish the pandemic had removed this fear, but even after COVID sent everyone home, I began hearing from listeners to my podcast (which is about working from home) that a number of teams began doing daily check-ins at 9:00 a.m., making sure everyone was at their desks.

Employees are aware of this suspicion. And so there is a tendency to leave Slack open all day, respond to emails instantly, and skip breaks, lest anyone think silence implies the binge watching of Stranger Things. With no commute, people don’t know when to declare the day done, and so they half work into the night. Long hours with no breaks are pretty closely linked to burnout. One poll finds that burned out employees are 2.6 times as likely to be actively seeking a different job, and 63% are more likely to take a sick day.

But this lack of boundaries isn’t inevitable. When I was reviewing time logs from employees at all-virtual companies as a time management consultant, I noticed that people with children or other caregiving responsibilities were far better at creating a stopping point, which makes sense. Someone has to send a sitter home or pick up the kids from day care.

Wise managers can encourage people without kids to come up with other personal commitments that end the work day. Years ago, when I realized that I was half working and half surfing the web until 10 p.m. every night, I joined three community choirs. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, I had to stop work around 6 p.m. to go to rehearsals. I became much more efficient—and happier.

Of course, choirs might be out these days, but here’s an idea. Any organization that institutes a 9:00 a.m. virtual check-in needs to also have a 4:45 p.m. virtual goodbye ceremony. This gives people a stopping point so they live to march again the next day—and maybe spend some time with their dogs too.

Laura Vanderkam is author of The New Corner Office: How the Most Successful People Work From Home, which publishes on July 21.

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