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Interesting discussion about working from home and ‘getting back to normal’

Mark Fletcher
April 23rd, 2021 · 8 Comments

Regulars here will know that I am over calls for things to get back to normal. They never will. The future is not the past. More people are working from home that ever. Businesses, especially knowledge based businesses, have migrated and even more are migrating to remove work.

Click here to see a video of a discussion with the CEO of Dropbox in which he discusses this is the contact of his business, how his business now operates and how he now operates. It’s about the future of work. I found it fascinating.


Category: newsagency of the future

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Peter R // Apr 23, 2021 at 5:47 PM

    There are 2 things that you can achieve as an organisation by allowing employees to work part of their working time from home and I am sure there are other benefits to.

    1, Cost reductions in office space if you adopt hot desking (book a desk or work station as needed) which also allows for important employee with other employees (meetings, training or crystallisation of vision/minds in the right direction).

    2. A happier employee as they do not waste time or money on traveling to and from work. They can therefore do a lot better with time use and planing. This should also benefit the organistaion at the very least by just having a happier employee who as a result will be more productive.

    It interesting that today the Premier of NSW (corrupt and smelly presently under ICAC investigation) now wants to offer free Transport to and from the Sydney CBD to get people back into the CBD via a Taxpayer subsidy of free transport.

    This assumes that some people can perform some of their duties or may be even all of their duties from home. It does mean good telephone and data communications as essential. Oh for an optical fiber to each house and business as was originally planed but stopped by T Abbot. He stated at the time if they an optical fiber to their house or even business all they would do is dirty movies all day.


  • 2 Peter R // Apr 23, 2021 at 8:16 PM

    Following my earlier spray here I went to the suggested link and listened. My earlier thoughts on this matter where generated by work duty experiences in the early 80s as including been a disciplinary officer for a 70 work station / 120 employees call center in State Rail NSW, “Centraliesed Reservation Control Center”(seat reservations on trains). I was heavily influenced by a University Lecturer Dr Ram Ramsay a Dr of Engineering from India who was an ex Consultant/Contractor/Manager for the UN. He had the ability to make me think outside the square. After listening to this pair I could not help but think the same problems exist now as in the 8os but expressed in today’s lingo. Perhaps times don not truly change but the lingo does. How do you get the best out of employees. Maybe the pandemic has now created an opening of the eyes across the whole for work arrangements.


  • 3 Colin // Apr 24, 2021 at 8:37 AM

    I’m all for getting back to normal. By that I mean returning to not being dictated to by government and health sector bureaucrats who have no understanding of businesses.


  • 4 Mark Fletcher // May 6, 2021 at 6:35 AM

    I have spent time in the Melbourne CBD over the last week, including all day Monday. It’s nowhere near back to normal. Many offices are closed as well as many businesses. Talking to some folks who work full time in the city, they commented that among the cafes that are open, many have new owners.

    While the comedy festival was a hit (I went to 15 shows that were all packed) the core city commercial activity is not what it was, which one reason I say it will not be a matter of going back to what was but, rather, it is all about what’s next. Figure that out and you are on a healthier path.


  • 5 Graeme Day // May 6, 2021 at 7:12 AM

    To add to this is that attitudes have changed considerably and this won’t go back to thge “norm”
    We have entered a new World of operation within the work force and must adapt. CBD n Sydney is not back to normal and I doubt it will ever be. CBD Localy is not back to normal and will not be as so Banks will close if not all of them (Central Coast) other Govt Depts are working from home two days a week and at the Office for three.
    You guessed it the Mon Fri from home. How good it is to be employed by the Govt. at the taxpayers expense. Some cafes have closed and others also have changed hands. This is a”new” economy and a “fake” one at that. It will take a while to work through however a light will shine when it becomes clearer. Enquiries for newsagency sales are sky high at the moment yet before COVID were very low. the Govt. stymulus for lending to Small Business is working however the criteria is demanding.


  • 6 Mark Fletcher // May 6, 2021 at 7:24 AM

    In the software company I run, 80% of employees now work from home permanently, at their request. Productivity is up. Commute time is down. The arrangements have led to changes in core aspects of our business. This is good as we have leveraged the opportunity to unpack, de-clutter, and repack.

    Talking to high street, regional and rural business owners … the smart ones have recalibrated for this shift and are offering products and services to capture the new stay at home workers.


  • 7 Peter R // May 7, 2021 at 9:19 AM

    Mark the benefits are great for the right business as you are showing. This is spot on with some of my long held thinking on this issue Why did it take a Pandemic for this thinking to be applied and be considered acceptable ?


  • 8 Mark Fletcher // May 7, 2021 at 11:49 AM

    Peter, I agree. I know people in big companies where in 2019 it was no you have to work in the CBD office to 2020 where the pandemic makes it safer for you to work from home to 2021 where it’s stay home if you want. One insurer in Melbourne has hundreds of staff working from home full time. Massive shift.


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