Small Business Solutions: Mobile-Workforce-Management Best Practices

As anyone who follows this blog knows, workforce mobility is a hot topic that’s yielding plenty of prominent headlines, with much of the current buzz resulting from Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s widely publicized decision to end telecommuting companywide. (For background information, I wrote about Yahoo’s news in an earlier post. Check it out here.)

Obviously, the media loves glamorizing Silicon Valley-related controversy, especially when it comes courtesy of Yahoo, The Valley’s favorite whipping boy. But I don’t think the excessive coverage of Mayer’s mandate means Yahoo’s new policy is a bellwether the rest of us in the business world will be forced to follow.

If sometime down the road Yahoo’s stock price shows significant improvement, I believe it’s likely the no-telecommuting policy will be trumpeted by the company’s PR folks as a major factor. But if that scenario plays out and a true cause-and-effect relationship between the two can be demonstrated, I think we’ll be able to safely assume that any increase in workplace productivity resulted more from the weeding-out of disgruntled and less focused Yahoo employees who happened to telecommute than from eliminating telecommuting as a whole.

So, assuming workplace mobility is not just here to stay, but likely to continue its current upward trajectory, managers need to be prepared to embrace the trend. Which is why I found an article on Citigroup’s website, written by the Vice President of Marketing for flexible-workspace provider, Regus, so pertinent. The author, Rebecca Tann, provides a great set of best practices any business large or small can use as guidelines when developing their own mobile-workforce policy.

I encourage you to read her piece, and then come back here to leave your comments.

As always, thanks for reading.

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One Comment

  1. Cherie Vick March 12, 2013 - Reply

    Having been both a remote project manager and a remote team member for over a decade now I can say that “relinquishing line of sight control” sums up the issue perfectly. Managing a mobile workforce is not equivalent to teaching a kindergarten class where the teacher must continuously count heads and ensure that everyone stays on the same task. Measuring outcomes rather than activity, and using all available communication tools–IM, e-mail, telephone, videoconferencing–will keep team members connected no matter where they are sitting.

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