Weekly Bookmarks (3/10/13)

  • tags: telecommuting

    • In the last week, I have heard a number of claims that research supports the idea that workers on-site are more innovative than those who work from home. I remain skeptical. The notion that impromptu conversations with colleagues in the cafeteria are the core of innovation seems a bit simplistic; in my experience, they are just as likely to produce talk of better jobs at competing firms or last night’s “American Idol” winner. Besides, much of this “research” simply shows that workers who collaborate with others in loose networks generate better ideas. It doesn’t suggest that the best way to create new products and services is by isolating your employees in the silo of a single location.
  • Response to the Yahoo and Best Buy announcements eliminating/restricting telecommuting

    tags: telecommuting

    • Yet a work force culture based on long hours at the office with little regard for family or community does not inevitably lead to strong productivity or innovation. Two outdated ideas seem to underlie the Yahoo decision: first, that tech companies can still operate like the small groups of 20-something engineers that founded them; and second, the most old-fashioned of all, that companies get the most out of their employees by limiting their autonomy.
    • Why are companies so leery of this type of flexibility? Managers are tempted to use “face time” in the office as the de facto measurement of commitment and productivity. They are often suspicious about employees who work out of sight, believing they will shirk or drift if not under constant supervision. As a result, telecommuting is often viewed as a perk to be handed out after employees have proved their worth.
  • Clark Quinn’s response to Ruth Clark’s latest iteration of “Why Games Don’t Teach.” Quinn points out that Clark’s definition of learning is mostly focused on memorization, but “remembering isn’t what’s going to make an organizational successful, it’s making better decisions, and that’s where games will shine.”

    tags: games e-learning research instructionaldesign

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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