Does your company let you work from home? Do you wish they did?
It seems like a great deal for everyone. Employees cut down on the time they spend sitting in traffic and employers cut down on what they spend on rent.
The AT&T Labs Complex, situated in Middletown, NJ, has done its fair share of outsourcing and telecommuting over the years and are now experiencing some of the negative repercussions.
The i2i Project is trying to bring a sense of community and camaraderie back to the office place by organizing running events among the thousands of employees who still frequent the complex.
Kathleen Sterzinar, among others, just hosted their first major event and drew over 200 participants away from their desks to participate in a 5k run & 1-mile walk on the nature trail at the complex during their lunch hour.
Andrew Lombardo, Networking Security Engineer, says the biggest area that suffers is collaboration. “We do a pretty good job staying connected by email, phone & video streams, but there’s nothing that can replace being in the same room with your entire team.”
Andrew comes into the office a few days a week but works at home about half of the time. While he enjoys the convenience of working from home, he noted the many distractions that his house provides and that it’s difficult to set a definitive stopping point for his workday. “Events like this are great.”
The i2i Group is making moves to put together a company-wide running group to help foster the struggling sense of community and collaboration that was once so strong.
Anthony Marmora, Network Planning Engineer, who volunteered for the event, shared a motivating observation saying; “It seems like people are starting to come back. This past month I’ve noticed a considerable influx of people at the complex.”
A credit union representative from United Teletech Financial, which originally served the banking needs of AT&T employees exclusively, also attended the event and took note of the remarkable amount of valuable connections that were made in a single lunch-hour. “There’s nothing more valuable to innovative companies, like AT&T, than to have their workforce collaborating in real time. This event goes to show that nothing can replace face-to-face interactions.”
How is where you work dealing with the outsourcing or telecommuting trends?