It’s a sunny, breezy morning in Eugene, Ore., a spot finest identified for entry to the good outside, a historical past of environmental activism and being the birthplace of Nike . I’m standing exterior a nondescript, one-story industrial area, talking with Mark Frohnmayer, chief government of Arcimoto, maker of a three-wheeled electrical automobile it calls a “enjoyable utility automobile.”
Solely I’m not in Oregon. I’m nonetheless caught at residence, on the alternative coast, relying—like many people—on an ever-growing array of instruments that permit me to do my job remotely. On this case, I’m getting a tour of Arcimoto ’s manufacturing unit by way of FaceTime. Mr. Frohnmayer is carrying “me” round on an iPhone, pointing issues out, getting me up near equipment, elements and half-finished automobiles, and fielding my questions. For me, it seems to be an inexpensive facsimile of really being there. Minus the eight-hour flight and keep at a Dow Jones-approved low cost resort with continental breakfast, that’s.
That is how Mr. Frohnmayer and his group have been giving manufacturing unit excursions to buyers, prospects and suppliers because the pandemic started. It really works nicely sufficient that Mr. Frohnmayer needs to maintain doing it after the pandemic ends, as a result of it comes with no loss in productiveness resulting from journey days.
Because of cloud-based collaborative instruments of each description—not simply Zoom—the pandemic has led to a reset in workplace tradition, from in-person to distant or hybrid. Surprisingly, there’s additionally been a reset for employees that nearly nobody thought might do their jobs remotely, together with discipline service engineers and emergency medical personnel.
Whereas these adjustments clarify developments inside the post-pandemic office, in addition they reveal a brand new method ahead for relationships between companies. Many examples come from probably the most hands-on trade of all: manufacturing. Employees nonetheless have to indicate up at a manufacturing unit and assemble merchandise, and high quality management could demand abroad journey once in a while, however many different actions—together with funding due diligence, relationship-building with suppliers and prospects, and even analysis and improvement—have unexpectedly and maybe completely gone distant.