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We're at an inflection point in work-from-home adoption

ZDNet's Larry Dignan talks with leaders from Stanley Black & Decker and eXp Realty about how remote workforces are staying connected via Facebook's Workplace collaboration tool.

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As the coronavirus pandemic continues, the new normal is to remain productive and connected, even while you and your colleagues all over the world are working from home. But it also raises other questions. How have perceptions about essential versus nonessential tasks changed? How can we make this new reality successful and and how long can we sustain it?

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Larry Dignan, global editor-in-chief of CNET's sister site ZDNet, pondered these questions in interviews as part of CNET's Now What video interview series. 

Shannon Lapierre, chief communications officer of Stanley Black & Decker, discussed how the global tool manufacturing company was able to quickly and dramatically change its daily operations. Dignan began the conversation by asking about the distinction between "front line workers" and "knowledge workers." Watch the clip to hear Lapierre's response.

Now playing: Watch this: Frontline worker vs. knowledge worker
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Later in the interview, Lapierre said Stanley's move from in-office operations to a largely remote workforce wasn't without initial consternation. But by using various collaboration tools like Facebook's Workplace, her conservative company learned that it could make the changes needed to keep its operations running both safely for its frontline workers, and efficiently for its knowledge workers connecting from home.

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A workforce that is 80% frontline workers runs the company's operations across 60 countries, including 30 factories in the US, Lapierre said. The connected tools Stanley is using enable real-time safety checks globally and let employees who are able to work remotely, like a sales team that relies on in-person meetings, stay connected.

Now playing: Watch this: Stanley Black & Decker pivots to remote working
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Christine Trodella, Facebook's head of Americas for Workplace, said the platform shows that people forced to work remotely can continue to be productive. It also lets them find a greater work/life balance, and it helps them be more vocal about having more options in how and where they work. 

Now playing: Watch this: Facebook's Workplace platform readies for growing demand
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Dignan also spoke with Glenn Sanford, the founder and CEO of realty company eXp World Holdings. Hear his comments and watch the entire interview on ZDNet.

Now What is a video interview and panel series with industry leaders, celebrities and influencers that covers trends impacting businesses and consumers amid the "new normal."  There will always be change in our world, and we'll be here to discuss how to navigate it all.