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Continued: Schafer: Flex-work initiatives drive sharp divisions

  • Article by: LEE SCHAFER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 5, 2013 - 9:11 PM

“You and I are collaborating right now,” Thompson told me. “We are in the same place. We are on Planet Earth, using our phones.”

And if a team decided the best results will come from collecting in one spot, she added, they can simply call a meeting.

What’s been largely missing in this discussion is a kind of middle ground, maybe something like the approach of Matthew Dornquast, who, like Thompson, described himself as “passionate” on the subject.

Dornquast is co-founder and CEO of Code 42 Software. While employees there come into the office, he does not appear to be in the mold of Henry Ford. No whistle blows at 5 at Code 42’s Minneapolis headquarters.

Code 42 has “core hours,” in by 9:30 a.m. and stay at least through 3:30 p.m. For him, working face-to-face and alongside each other is about enriched communication and creativity within teams and across teams.

“Creation is communal,” he said in an e-mail conversation. “More bandwidth is a good thing.”

He has a bit of a technical explanation, too.

The data transfer of reading on a computer screen, writing with a keyboard or talking on a phone tops out at approximately 120 bits per second. The eye and brain absorb information at 16 million bits per second.

I did not check this with a professor of neurology, but Dornquast explained that your combined see, hear, touch, taste and smell speed is 700,000 times faster than an ability to read and write words using a computer.

“It’s no wonder why studies show 60 to 70 percent of communication is nonverbal,” he continued. “This is why I silently weep when I watch an employee typing into a phone with two thumbs. Think of the waste.” • 612-673-4302

  • related content

  • « No results, no job. Not, no results, so everybody get back in the office. That is so ridiculous in 2013. »Jody Thompson, left, flex-work advocate

  • « Creation is communal. … It’s no wonder why studies show 60 to 70 percent of communication is nonverbal. »Matthew Dornquast, right, whose company has “core hours” when employees are expected to be in the office

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