This Week Health 5 Years

Following up on Monday's Poll. Has "entitlement replaced efficiency" as the primary driver for work from home policies?

Transcript

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โ€Š ๐Ÿ“ Today in health, it let's talk about remote work. โ€Šโ€ŠMy name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and create, or this week health, a set of channels dedicated to keeping health it staff current. And engaged. We want to thank our show sponsors. We're investing in developing the next generation of health leaders, short test and artist site two great companies. Check them out at this week. health.com/today. Having a child with cancer is one of the most painful and difficult situations a family can face.

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All right. โ€ŠHad a little fun on Monday morning, decided to post my pool. They, so if you haven't noticed, if you go out on LinkedIn every Monday morning, I will post this poll. And they are getting a lot of really good. Conversations going, and that's what I'm trying to do. I'm not trying to be provocative just for being provocative sake. I'm not trying to just, you know, get hits and that kind of stuff. I'm really trying to start conversations and the , post yesterday was, has entitlement replaced efficiency, as the primary driver for work from home policies. This phrase is not original with me. A healthcare leader shared it with me.

I go on and say a, it got me thinking, are we still measuring efficiency to see if work from home actually delivers efficiency? Are we just leaving it alone? Because it has become the third rail of leadership. And I'm just wondering. And so the poll is what percentage of health it workers would leave if healthcare leaders re-instituted work from the office only, and I only gave three options, I probably should have given more.

Because clearly the, the disparity, the numbers. Are showing that it's the higher range. I should have split out the higher range more, but I said less than 1%, got 5% of the vote. One to 3% got 6% of the vote. And over 3% got 89% of the vote, and there's still a chance for you to vote. So if you would like to vote, go out.

Find me on LinkedIn. Bill J Russell. And find the pole and go ahead and vote. , you can also participate in the conversation. There's been 25 comments. On this so far. There's just a lot of passion around this topic, and I'm not trying to tap into that passion. I'm really trying to ask a valid, what I believe is a valid question and it is.

It's really about productivity and does it matter anymore? Does it matter in the discussion? Do we know measure or care about. Productivity anymore. Or is the job of the manager solely centered. On the employee satisfaction. And, you know, most times you can balance both. You can make an, a work environment. That's great for the employee.

And also delivers productivity. In fact, you almost have to meet the first in order to deliver the second I'm in full agreement. There. And most times you can do that. But what happens when you can't. When you can't do both, which way do you lean, if you were to find out tomorrow that you took a 15% productivity decrease.

Working from home than you do working from the office. Would you change your mind? Would you change your approach? And I the responses to this have been really interesting. And I'm going to give you some data points here. The, , the responses have run the gamut from, , , Hey, 85% of the people who are working from home say that their productivity has increased since they started working from home.

And my response to that was kind of flipping. I said, look, I do enough exercise every day that I feel like I should lose five pounds. However, every time I step on the scale, I haven't lost five pounds. The scale doesn't lie. So the question becomes what's the scale. Have we measured productivity prior to work from home?

And are we measuring productivity today? And when we talk about that productivity tools, , it really runs the gamut of what people feel is. , the appropriate way to measure productivity. And I'm going to go into that in a little bit.

I think we have to keep a close eye on this. Is it the best environment? Is it the most productive environment for our. , health system. First of all. And then the second is, is it the best environment for the employee?

And it's funny, we should assume it's the best environment for all employees. And I think that's a bad assumption. I think isolation is the worst thing an individual can face. Isolation. There's a reason there's solitary confinement. There's a reason that we punish people by putting them alone with nothing but their thoughts.

And worked from home for some people is solitary confinement. And we have to work against that. We have to fight against that because isolation is debilitating to the human soul, to the human psyche, and we have to know what works for some people and what doesn't work for. Some people. Right. And you have to know that as a manager, your job is to know and understand.

The people that have been assigned to you, what works for them? What doesn't work for them? How often do they need to interact with people? How do they interact with people? Does a zoom meeting really work for them or do they need to see somebody at a coffee house at least once a week? , what works for them? Do you know what works for them?

And are you just painting this thing with a broad that says, Hey, everybody's more productive. Look, we're more productive. And I find that interesting because everyone I ask, what was your measure for productivity prior to the pandemic? No one has an answer. No one was measuring productivity prior to the pandemic.

Now I agree. We shouldn't measure productivity by if people come into the office, they are in the office, they're in their seats. Therefore they're productive. Clearly. That's not the case. , and it's not activity based either they work this many hours, therefore they were productive. That's that's not it either, but I do believe that we should be measuring projects and operations and saying, how many hours does it take to deliver that project?

We said it was going to deliver this many. How many does it take to deliver that? And we said it was going to take this many hours to refresh all the servers or to do patch Tuesday , and it took 10 hours. You know, why did it take so much? Are we even looking at productivity anymore? And is that something we should be looking at? And if we are looking at it, how are you looking at it? I tend to look at it as we have deliverables. We have things we deliver for the organization. And how much input does it take?

To deliver that. And you measure that against yourself last month and last year and the year before, but you also measure yourself against the industry. And say, an EHR rollout took this organization of similar size, this amount. To actually do. And it took us twice as much. Why is that? Are we not as productive?

Is there something inherent in our culture and our management style and our approach that makes us not productive. , and, , I, I think the reason we're not having this conversation is it really has become, and it goes back to this whole idea of has entitlement replaced efficiency in terms of the conversation.

And if it's entitlement, it means it has become the third rail. Go ahead and broach the subject with your employer. If it's become entitlement and you broach the subject of we're thinking about what it might look like for some of us to return to the office. You'll know if it's entitlement right away, because there will be a serious backlash.

There will be, things written about you, emails flying. Whatever the current water cooler is, the conversation will be nothing, but can you believe these idiots don't realize how much more productive. We are. By the way, I don't think we can say we were more productive during the pandemic because we worked for home. I think we were more productive during the pandemic because other factors were in place. Like number one, we cut down on every other project and focused for the first time as any.

Our history in healthcare, we focused on a handful of things and we did those extremely well. And I would say focus had more to do with productivity. Then, , anything having to do with work from home now. Before I get all the angry emails. Let me just say, I do recognize that driving an hour, one way, and then how or another way to work is unproductive.

It's highly unproductive and it's soul crushing. In some cases, if you do it in LA, you do it in New York city, you do it in Chicago. And some of these other markets. It's horrible to have to commute. And if you can work from home, you're going to want to work for a moment. And I get that and I understand that. And some people should and can work from home.

Absolutely. I believe that a significant number amount of your workforce will leave whether it's entitlement or not will leave tomorrow. If they have options to go somewhere else and you require them to come back into the office, I believe that's absolutely true. And you have to weigh that. I mean, but again, we have nothing to measure it against, so it's not like you can look at it and say, look, we lost 20% productivity. If we reinstate these things, we'll gain that 20% back.

, we're going to lose 3% of the workforce. Therefore we have to do that and we have to bring these people back. I mean, there's a whole host of things that we just don't even, we don't even have the metrics anymore and we've become very lazy managers. We've we managed based on anecdote. , So somebody posted something. So I decided, you know what, I'm going to go out and look at the articles and this one's recent, which is kind of nice. Let's see. Wall street journal Wednesday, January 25th. How's that for recent?

And the title is remote jobs. And I'm actually reading this from a piece of paper. How antiquated is that? Probably appropriate? Some of you were thinking that's really appropriate. This guy reads the newspaper and it doesn't read it online while it just so happens that my neighbor gets the wall street journal and gives me yesterday as well.

Wall street journal every day. So I do read the wall street journal. , this way. Anyway, the title of the story is remote jobs are now harder to find. , maybe prospective workers who were determined to get a remote job just a few months ago are hitting a wall as remote listings, rapidly dwindle after remote work search during the pandemic, fewer employers.

Now feel the need to lore talent with the promise of working from home. Remote jobs made up 13.2% of listings. Advertise on LinkedIn last month down from 20.6 in March. Other job sites, such as indeed.com ZipRecruiter also report declines in remote listings demand for these jobs remains high remote jobs attracted a majority or 52.8% of all applicants submitted on LinkedIn.

m the red hot pace of much of:

And while many laid off workers in tech and elsewhere are finding employment. Again, it is taking on average, longer to secure a new job than it did this last spring. My point reading that story is not to say, oh my gosh, it's we're, everything's trending back. My point in reading that story is to say it might trend back.

And as a leader and as a manager, part of our role is to know which way is this tide going? And what does that mean for us? It doesn't mean anything. Right. If there's certain roles that you're going to hire remotely, and we did, we had a set of roles. That we could not hire locally if we tried. And we hired them all over the country, literally all over the country. , you know, even back in 20 13, 20 14, I think we had better than 15 states that we were hiring it staff in. So don't look at me and say, oh, he's a Luddite.

He's a, he's an archetype, as somebody said, you're, you're that archetype who wants everybody to come back in the office? That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is we should know what's effective. We should know our employees and what's best for them in terms of the work environment. We should know what people can work from home in which can we talk about this in remote care all the time?

, hospital at home isn't for everyone because not everybody's home is set up to be a hospital. So you have to know and understand what works and what doesn't work and, you know, just. Having people tell you, Hey, 85% of us feel like we've been more productive working from home. And by the way, from their perspective, I believe that's a true statement. I don't think they're lying.

I think it's a true statement. If you were commuting, let's say you were even commuting 30 minutes a day. You just, you just saved five hours a week. And so you feel like you're being more productive? Absolutely. Feel like you're being more productive. You're not spending five hours in the car that is not productive time.

That you're actually spending in front of your computer, responding to your emails, doing the things that you do. , Again, I believe that is an accurate statement. 85% of people feel like they're more productive. Absolutely. , but I'm not sure they're more productive for the house with some, because you can't show me the numbers. I don't know.

I don't know if they're more productive and I think there should be a way to measure. I think the trade. And, and again, just getting the conversation started. I think. That the trade for the freedom that we are offering people to work from home is they have to report their hours and not like, Hey, I worked 40 hours this week.

Report their hours on their projects, because I've always loved having this data. We only did it in one department because we've got such pushback, but the one department we did do it in, we could easily go back to the organization and say, we need more people for this. And they'd say, well, how can you say that? We could look at all the projects and say, it's this many hours. And we have this many hours allocated in that department to work towards this. And we don't have enough hours.

Right. It gave me the ammunition I needed as a leader to get them the stuff they needed to get their work done. And so there's incredible value in having that level of granularity around the reporting. So if everybody in the it department, once the work from home, My thing is a leader would be fantastic. I'm going to fight for you. And here's what I want you to do. The trade is you give me hours on projects and operations and as granular a situation as you possibly can.

I worked this many on this project, this much on this operation, so forth and so on. And that's going to give me the information I need in order to, , set us up to be successful as an organization, we can. Limit the projects coming in through governance. And we can, , go back and ask for resources where it's appropriate and need it.

So I've ranted a lot on this topic today, but again, just trying to get the conversation started.

I believe we have entered the era of entitlement and within a year or two, we're going to enter the era of while we've always done it this way. So, and neither are really good reasons to do remote work.

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