Making Remote Working Work

Making Remote Working Work

Did IBM just make another 1980’s style, game-changing decision?


In today’s anytime, anywhere, cloud-based workforce, we have to wonder what IBM was really thinking when they recently recalled every remote worker* to a bricks and mortar office.


While most companies are focusing on making remote working work, IBM has chosen a different path. However, judging by the 4000+ responses on LinkedIn, this path places the tech giant in a very controversial, if not dangerous, position.


This latest move by IBM seems uncannily reminiscent of a fateful decision they made back in 1980* when their strategy was to focus on hardware and only hardware. A decision that helped make Bill Gates one of the world’s richest men, and Microsoft one of the largest and most successful businesses, in the world.


So is a massive recall of remote employees really the answer to inspiring greater engagement and collaboration? Yahoo! attempted a similar strategy which, rather than increasing closeness, triggered massive protest and may have portended the ultimate downturn of the company.


According to Harvard Business Review, smart employees want flexibility in their work environment.* In addition, true collaboration (if indeed this is the end goal) can’t be accomplished by physical proximity alone.


Wouldn’t it be more productive and sustainable to encourage better conversations — whether you’re teams are working from a company desk or their own?


This is the question that spurred the development of GoWall –- the meeting collaboration technology designed by professional facilitators to encourage focused and productive conversations that deliver results.


While we may never be as big as IBM, we’ve helped many fortune 500 companies who face similar challenges with managing remote and distributed teams. Here are a few common challenges and how GoWall addresses them:


How do I capture all the input from everyone involved in the meeting?

GoWall’s intuitive digital note wall enables participants to share comments simultaneously and when the meeting’s over, notes can be exported instantly for distribution and analysis.


How do I keep remote participants engaged?

First, prepare a good list of questions, preferably organized by topic. GoWall’s engaging note-based interface is designed to invite ongoing, simultaneous contribution and accelerated idea-flow. Everyone, remote or local, is given an equal voice.


How do I get feedback from those in different time zones?

GoWall allows anyone, anywhere to contribute ideas on their own time.


If you’re suffering from remote meeting challenges, we can help. Start by signing up here for a FREE trial.


*Resources: FastCompany, “IBM’s Remote Work Reversal Is A Losing Battle Against The New Normal” by Stephane Kasriel; This Day in Tech History, “IBM Signs A Deal With The Devil” by Marcel Brown. Harvard Business Review, “To Raise Productivity, Let More Employees Work from Home” by Nicholas Bloom.