Getting Workers Back to Work (An Executive Interview with Amanda Reed)

A recent article in the NY Times reports that contract employees at a major tech company “circulated a petition to keep working from home since some cannot afford their commutes.”

Given the inflationary costs of commuting as well as the widespread adoption of remote work during the pandemic, what should a company do to retain workers who want to continue to work at home?

Dana Levan, our VP of Growth at CrowdSmart, asked our CEO Amanda Reed, what approach CEOs and HR managers might take to make decisions on remote versus in-office work policies.

Amanda:

This is a universal story – post pandemic -- about companies finding ways to make virtual work work. And yet, during the pandemic, employees were able to work productively while working at home despite the belief that people wouldn’t work unless they were watched. Some companies even placed tracking devices on their employees’ computers to monitor them.

Dana:

Why not just use a survey to figure out what employees want – whether to work in an office or remotely -- and take it from there?

Amanda:

Surveys are not generative. People don’t learn from other people’s ideas. People just respond with love or hate; the middle ground doesn’t join in. Basically, surveys just confirm whatever the questions infer. Surveys don’t allow the opportunity to let people share what they really think and respond to what others think.

Dana:

So what’s the alternative?

Amanda:

At CrowdSmart we have built a dramatically different technology, one that elicits people to share their ideas as well as their opinions and knowledge without any fear of rejection. That’s because rather than share insights in a face-to-face conference room or meeting hall, they can submit their insights virtually, without the person with the loudest voice or the boss’s favorite taking over the conversation. No one – except the top-level administrator of the conversation – knows the identity of the participant, and because CrowdSmart’s AI harvests and presents new ideas to participants, people have the opportunity to riff off each other’s ideas.

Dana:

So CrowdSmart provides business leaders answers?

Amanda:

No. What CrowdSmart’s streaming service provides is the ability for everyone in a company or organization’s ecosphere – employees, management, investors, and customers – to generate ideas based on engaging in other peoples’ ideas as well. It is similar to a virtual conversation, which our artificial intelligence software refines and aligns to provide decision makers a clearer, more predictive signal.

And all this happens in hours or days within a virtual environment. And results can be restarted and reused again and again.

Dana:

So what might a business leader consider regarding remote work options using the CrowdSmart approach?

Amanda:

There is no going back from authentic engagement with your employees and actively starting conversations with them in what is now becoming a virtual work environment on a global scale.

Let’s face it, the “good old days” weren’t so good.

It’s time to embrace the future of work, which is virtual, demands authentic engagement, and potentially is far more productive and satisfying for workers and management alike.

Dana:

Thank you, Amanda. And for you, our business leaders, check out CrowdSmart.ai. 

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