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Speaker announcement: Darja Šmite

The third speaker to be announced and hold her talk comes from the myConf supporters at Blekinge Tekniska Högskola. It is none other than professor Darja Šmite. The pleasure is ours!

About Darja

Darja Šmite is a professor of software engineering at the Blekinge Institute of Technology, where she leads research efforts on globally distributed software development and outsourcing. Her research interests include remote and virtual forms of work, large-scale agile software development, team performance and organisational decentralisation. In her research, Šmite works closely with software companies and has experience working with Ericsson, Spotify, Telenor, ABB, Tieto, DXC, Emerson Process Management, Boss Media, CALVI, and DATI. Šmite is also a part-time research scientist at SINTEF in Norway.

The talk

The Truth about Working from home

Working from home (WFH) or telework is something that, until COVID-19, has been considered voluntary and often exceptional practice in the workplace. Remoters were looked at with scepticism. However, the forced working-from-home experiences have appeared to be better than expected. Coupled with the investments enabling remote work during the pandemic have caused many knowledge workers to rethink their return to the offices. They now favour working from home occasionally, primarily or indefinitely. In response to the growing demand for remote working, companies are experimenting and quickly adjusting their work policies to allow more flexibility. But do we know enough about remote working on such a large scale to make informed decisions?

In this talk, you will hear about the impact of remote work on software engineers' productivity and work habits based on two detailed industrial cases. Further corporate surveys of employee preferences for remote work suggest that WFH is here to stay and marks the rise of hybrid work arrangements. We will also dive into the current status of office presence and the strategies companies take to deal with emerging changes in the workplace. The experience comes from studying 20+ new work policies from companies in Scandinavia, Europe, and Asia.

A few words about the speaker

Originally posted on LinkedIn.

The recent movement to more remote work has disrupted our ways of working more and quicker than anything else in modern time.

Is remote-first damaging and worthless? It seems now to be more and more out of fashion. The pendulum is not nuanced, the discussion is polarized. One example was a text from Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Is it possibly the case that "context is king" is actually at play here too?

I guess there are advantages and drawbacks. No matter opinion and choice, it should be beneficial to use the advantages and compensate against the drawbacks. Companies and individuals will make better decisions with better and more nuanced understanding when trying to reach the global optima.

Because of this, I find it very interesting to get a more nuanced picture. What does science say rather than BCG? My recent research reading gave me the impression that science tries hard to overall understand productivity for knowledge work. Luckily Professor Darja Smite will at myConf give us the latest and greatest science perspective on this highly topical question.