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Should you telecommute and get office furniture at home? Yes, but under certain conditions

Recently, Michael Dell, CEO and founder of the namesake company that’s the third largest computer manufacturer in the world, said he wanted to appeal massively to telework for his employees. There are several reasons to opt for telework. Here is a list of those that seem most important :

  1. it saves the worker’s money, because getting to the office is becoming more and more expensive
  2. it saves time and energy of the worker
  3. it avoids the pollution from workers cars
  4. it avoids traffic congestion. Following the decision of Yahoo and Hewlett -Packard to abolish teleworking, Silicon Valley has seen traffic jams multiply
  5. it saves the company money because the offices are so expensive to buy, rent and run
Automattic's staff

Automattic’s staff

There is another company, Automattic, which created WordPress, the wesite creation software most used in the world, adopted by about 15 % of all new websites. Well, this company has no offices. Every new employee receives a check for $ 2000 to build a home office, buying office partitions, design chairs, etc.

Should you telecommute and get office furniture at home? I think it depends on the type of business. The above-mentioned two are specialists in equipment for digital communications, and software for creating websites, respectively. This does not mean that they relinquish all employees meeting: workers for WordPress meet up once or twice a year in charming places like Athen, the Quebec, La Paz , Mexico City, San Francisco or Santa Cruz, California.

So telework can be applied to a greater or lesser extent depending on the type of business. Sometimes it will be completely useless , other times it will increase the productivity and profitability of the company. And you, what do you think?

design chairs by Green

design chairs by Green

Is a conference table doomed to become useless?

Tecno : modular conference table

Tecno : modular conference table

The conference table, replaced by computers, video-conferencing and teleworking?

Recently, in an article on the Forbes magazine, David K. Williams, entrepreneur, advocated abandoning meetings to be able to create true leaders. This is a little sobering. In a time when f communication skills have been multiplied by the Internet, e -mail, PDAs, computers, social networks, is it still necessary to dedicate offices to meetings, installing costly and bulky conference table and meeting  chairs? Besides that, the price of offices in major cities often exceeds several thousand dollars per square meter.

Moreover, telecommuting and videoconferencing makes now possible to communicate effectively with colleagues or even business sites in other cities. Add to this the transportation costs which continue to rise, beacause of fuel prices and the difficulty of getting around an ever more chaotic traffic, and we can understand that it is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive meeting in order to discuss, plan and work together.

The abandonment of the conference table : not so sure, at least not so radically

Indeed, a prestigious and powerful leader in communications technology like Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO , just eliminated the possibility of using telecommuting for her employees, as it she realized that employees who use telework were less productive, and they needed just firsthand confrontation with other colleagues. A good old meeting around a conference table seems irreplaceable.

The modular meeting table reduces costs

For example, with a modular conference table like this one in the picture above, you can easily disassemble the modules for use in offices, while freeing the room used by the meeting, which will be dedicated to other uses.

I invite you to the virtual conference table to hear your opinion in this regard. Thanks.

Amazing office pranks

Well, none of these office pranks seem to target executive desks nor executive office furniture. So we can imagine that they were done among colleagues, not daring to affect any boss’s office. Anyway, the outcomes are remarkable:

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5 clever tricks to sell an idea to your boss

boss

” Ok , I buy it”. In the meeting room in a business lunch, your boss has approved an idea not so great as that. And you are weary to convince the interest of yours. The secret is in the preparation, explains Philippe Bazin, partner at Krauthammer .

” Whether it is to improve the organization, soothing climate, motivate the troops, the manager must innovate. Some have a hundred ideas per minute. “So what? “Because it’s neither the originality nor the excitment that counts, but the relevance. Ideas must mature before exposure, with no precipitation. Here’s a process in five key steps to get a “yes”.

1 . Plowing the field to sow the seed.

An idea pops ? Doodle it there on a piece of paper, not to forget, nothing more. The mistake is wanting to refine it fast and alone in your corner Better to start by launching a trial balloon to your entourage in order to assess the merits. And with two audiences. 1 / Your close colleagues “Would it not hurt if our drivers had touch pads with GPS to geo- locate ? What do you say?” Or “Does it not make sense that you would find the reception downstairs should be open more frequently? ” . 2 / The chef (yes, already), but informally. ” What do you of think the organization of the reception ? ” “Are you satisfied with the time deliveries? “. Depending on the answers, you will see if it bites, and if it is positive, and you gather valuable information.

2 . Think in terms of advantages and benefits.

Henceforth, it helps to optimize your argument and anticipate objections. Note first of all what reinforces the idea or what weakens it in your environment: for example, competition launches touch pads in 2013, but at the same time , the market will fall by 10% and customers will peel off the price. Then, list the intrinsic strengths of the idea: the image of the company will be rejuvenated, the client will know when it will be delivered, etc. . Point at weaknesses : a tablet , it has a cost, etc. . Then , in order to “wrap” it all, dig forces on two fronts. 1 / advantages : saving time for drivers, a route optimization 2 / profit – encryption : a productivity gain of 1.5% for shippers, less calls from impatient customers…

3 . Choose the right time

Approaching  your boss  is pointless if you previously need full budget preparation or discussing a sensitive issue with the HRD. He will be ill-disposed or will not listen to you. Tell it simply, being clear about the goal. “Could you stop and devote half an hour to myself in the week? I want to see you about the reception (or deliveries), I propose improvements to you.”

4 . Adopt the right tone.

Treat your introduction. Avoid attacking the subject with shock style sentences, “I have a great idea , you’ll see”. Or “I thought a nice thing is…” Managers hate what dramatizes a speech. Go frankly, “I have an idea , it can have some interesting effects on our customers.” Do not spread it all over, your plus will be quickly saturated. And after ten minutes, if he did not understand, it’s over ! This preamble complete, deploy your pitch, playing cards on the table. No way to hide blackheads ! Proceed in three phases: place a clear and structured description, explain the benefits, quantify the benefits. Bring pictures or synthetic memo, they are brief and readable, this will help understanding.

5 . Allow an element of choice.

You boil down, that your boss appropriates part of the idea. By encouraging his opinion, his curiosity about a detail, he will “step into the doorway ” and he will accept everything. I recommend two methods. 1 / let Him alternatives. Submit three different implementations . 2 / Book a white area in your presentation, confessing . ” On this point, I am puzzled, what do you advise me? ” . This may be the time to predict the need for a preliminary estimate, the choice of contributors etc. Finally, let your manager time to think and plan a deadline ” We ‘ll talk after the holidays, what do you think ?”. He too must settle the idea.