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The Death of the Virtual Office

In a global economy, workers can't be tethered to their desks. Organizations must be designed to provide staffers with maximum freedom to work where they are most productive. And telecommuting must be encouraged to promote family balance and a healthier environment.

Yes, the virtual office seemed very much a hot trend this decade. But maybe no more.

Tom Davenport sees signs that companies are heading back to consolidating employees, especially top officers, at central headquarters. He points to Eclypsis, an Atlanta software developer, that recently dismissed its Silicon Valley-based CEO after he refused to move to Georgia.

Co-location makes sense in certain situations, writes Davenport on Harvard Business Publishing:

"Senior managers, in particular, are a group that benefits from high-bandwidth interpersonal contact. Henry Mintzberg and other researchers have shown that their jobs typically consist of a variety of short, and frequently unplanned, interactions. It's much easier to accomplish these when you are all in the same vicinity."
Are remote workers becoming more rare in your organization? Is "face time" a more valuable commodity as the recession rolls along? Take our poll.
(Image by DDFic, CC 2.0)