Research Narratives: The People Behind the Data

We are immersed in research -- everyday news outlets, academic journals, and even social media sites are boasting about new research that is emerging. It is sometimes easy to forget when you see extensive research points and abstract statistics that there are individuals behind those numbers. After we finished our September research report, we decided to try to make the data much more personal. Here are our findings -- in narrative form!

Tom is an experienced engineer with a few decades of proven work. As a show of good faith, his company allows him to begin working at home. Tom excels, achieving double the work in half the time. He misses the social interactions (he still goes to “Taco Tuesday” once a week), but he is grateful for the lack of commute. Management is so impressed that they offer him a supervisory role over other remote workers. Tom notices that it is more difficult to manage with so little oversight and makes it a point to emphasize deliverables. He wishes that communication would improve.

According to research performed by AGL, 44% of people prefer to work remotely, with 30% saying that no commute is the largest benefit. The largest disadvantage is less social interaction (60%); however, that can be offset by the newfound flexibility to enjoy hobbies and friends. That being said, managing a fully remote team is a new beast in itself -- only 18% of respondents have managed remote workers.

Kylie, a recent college graduate, just began a new job at a prominent financial firm. She works primarily in the office, but has to remotely communicate with colleagues in different states and countries. She is nervous because she never had to build rapport with people so distant from her.

Although working remotely is becoming more and more prominent (60% of respondents have worked remotely), only 23% are trained to do so! This leaves a lot of room to struggle with the new methods of time management and communication. It can be difficult to navigate communicating with coworkers and managers when you are not seeing them face to face, which doesn’t even include the difficulty of working across several time differences. Miscommunication is the number one complaint from managers of remote workers, as a lot of conversation can get lost in transmission.

Jim has a tech start up idea, but can’t afford to move to Silicon Valley to make it happen. He thinks about his connections across the country and realizes there is great potential right at his fingertips. He makes the decision to go fully remote — something that is growing in popularity. But where to begin? He’s never worked remotely; he doesn’t know how to build a company culture over the web or to communicate without seeing each other face to face. All of his network is willing to try it out, but he must take the first steps. He decides to learn from AGL institute: a one stop shop that allows innovative individuals reach their potential through training curriculums focused around remote work.

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