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To evaluate a plan to save money on office space

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To evaluate a plan to save money on office space [#permalink]

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New post 05 Sep 2005, 12:05
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A
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Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review, 2nd Edition

Practice Question
Question No.: 80
Page: 149
Difficulty:


To evaluate a plan to save money on office space expenditures by having its employees work at home, XYZ Company asked volunteers from its staff to try the assignment for six months. During this period, the productivity of these employees was as high or higher than before.

Which of the following, if true, would argue most strongly against deciding on the basis of the trial results, to implement the company's plan?

(A) The employees who agreed to participate in the test of the plan were among the company's most self-motivated and independent workers.
(B) The savings that would accrue from reduced office-space expenditures alone would be sufficient to justify the arrangement for the company.
(C) Other companies that have achieved successful results from work-at-home plans have work forces that are substantially lower than that of XYZ.
(D) The volunteers who worked at home were able to communicate with other employees as necessary for performing at work.
(E) Minor changes in the way office work is organized at XYZ would yield increases in employee productivity similar to those achieved in the trial
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: CR - XYZ company [#permalink]

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New post 05 Sep 2005, 16:23
(A) The employees who agreed to participate in the test of the plan were among the company's most self-motivated and independent workers.

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New post 05 Sep 2005, 16:59
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A here as well , because these workers were high performers before and seem like by taking the out of the office they still have 'as high or higher' productivy than before so the company didnt save much if anything at all.

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New post 05 Sep 2005, 17:20
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A here as well, because the argument relies on the assumption that the results of the test would be replicated in the general employee population. But A contradicts this assumption by telling us that the test segment isn't representative of the population as a whole, and that the implementation plan is likely to have lower results than the test did.

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New post 06 Sep 2005, 06:56
A for me. Choice A states that the participants of the trial are the company's most motivated staff. If so, the trial might not be a good indicator since if implemened, it might not give as good a result as desired since some of the less motivated staff would also be on the program.

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New post 06 Sep 2005, 10:13
I would say A.

This problem shows one of the common errors with CR: using a small sample to expand on the overall population.

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To evaluate a plan to save money on office-space [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2008, 12:31
To evaluate a plan to save money on office-space expenditures by having its employees work at home, XYZ Company asked volunteers from its staff to try the arrangement for six months. During this period, the productivity of these employees was as high as or higher than before.

Which of the following, if true, would argue most strongly against deciding, on the basis of the trial results, to implement the company’s plan?

(A) The employees who agreed to participate in the test of the plan were among the company’s most self-motivated and independent workers.
(B) The savings that would accrue from reduced office-space expenditures alone would be sufficient to justify the arrangement for the company, apart from any productivity increase.
(C) Other companies that have achieved successful results from work-at-home plans have work forces that are substantially larger than that of XYZ.
(D) The volunteers who worked at home were able to communicate with other employees as necessary for performing the work.
(E) Minor changes in the way office work is organized at XYZ would yield increases in employee productivity similar to those achieved in the trial.

Please explain answers

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Re: CR - Office Space [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2008, 12:51
A, though no answer is great.

The conclusion is actually found in the question stem. We figure out that the conclusion is essentially (I'm paraphrasing) "Therefore, we should implement the work-at-home policy on a permanent basis."

This is a Weaken CR question. We get the conclusion in the question stem and are told to find the answer that supports deciding against this conclusion, so approaching this to "weaken" the conclusion should be the way to handle it.

neeshpal wrote:
To evaluate a plan to save money on office-space expenditures by having its employees work at home, XYZ Company asked volunteers from its staff to try the arrangement for six months. During this period, the productivity of these employees was as high as or higher than before.

Identification of Assumptions: 1) The productivity of the employees who participated in the program

Which of the following, if true, would argue most strongly against deciding, on the basis of the trial results, to implement the company’s plan?

(A) The employees who agreed to participate in the test of the plan were among the company’s most self-motivated and independent workers.

This undermines the ability to make the conclusion that the plan is effective and shoudl be implemented. These volunteers are going to be productive regardless of where they are. The question is the average employee. Is that employee going to be less productive? This doesn't completey blow the conclusion out of the water, but it adds doubt to the reliability of the conclusion to implement the work-at-home plan.

(B) The savings that would accrue from reduced office-space expenditures alone would be sufficient to justify the arrangement for the company, apart from any productivity increase.
This uses a logical occurance, that money would be saved for other reasons, but in the end, it supports the conclusion that the work at home plan should be used, even though for a different reason than is concluded above. Incorrect.
(C) Other companies that have achieved successful results from work-at-home plans have work forces that are substantially larger than that of XYZ.

[color=#FF0000]This doesn't give us a reason to doubt this particular conclusion. We need to undermine one of the premises or assumptions made by the company to come to this conclusion. Looking at other companies is irrelevant to this decision. Incorrect.

[/color]
(D) The volunteers who worked at home were able to communicate with other employees as necessary for performing the work.

This may be true, and it accounts for the reason the employees were productive, but we're looking for reasons that undermine the conclusion or make the conclusion LESS sound. Incorrect.

(E) Minor changes in the way office work is organized at XYZ would yield increases in employee productivity similar to those achieved in the trial.
This does offer and alternative approach, but this doesn't attach the conclusion. It just provides an alternative solution to increase employees productivity. The goal was not to save money on office-related expenditures by having the employees work from home. Incorrect.
Please explain answers

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Re: CR - Office Space [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2008, 13:22
A, I think the real issue is productivity.

To strengthen, prove that workers w/ lower productivity now have higher

To weaken, prove works w/ high productivity never changed, so does not apply to firmwide

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Re: CR - Office Space [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2008, 13:30
(A) The employees who agreed to participate in the test of the plan were among the company’s most self-motivated and independent workers. [ This weakens the argument - hold it]
(B) The savings that would accrue from reduced office-space expenditures alone would be sufficient to justify the arrangement for the company, apart from any productivity increase. [Argument is looking for improving productivity - saving is irrelevant]

(C) Other companies that have achieved successful results from work-at-home plans have work forces that are substantially larger than that of XYZ. [other offices is not discussed in the argument - eliminate it]

(D) The volunteers who worked at home were able to communicate with other employees as necessary for performing the work. [ May be true -but has no effect on improving productivity]


(E) Minor changes in the way office work is organized at XYZ would yield increases in employee productivity similar to those achieved in the trial. ["would" yield has no bearring on the current trial - eliminate it]

Answer: A

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Re: CR - Office Space [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2008, 13:35
My first answer was A.

Then on second look i it came to me that company's plan is to save money through office space expenditures (or we can say by saving office space that employees were using and to use it for some other reason so that profit increases) and not throgh by increasing employees productivity so i chose C. But OA is A here.

the reason to implement plan is to make profit by saving office space so howcome the answer is based on the reason that the employee productivity increased.

am i understanding it wrong ?

please help!

jallenmorris wrote:
A, though no answer is great.

The conclusion is actually found in the question stem. We figure out that the conclusion is essentially (I'm paraphrasing) "Therefore, we should implement the work-at-home policy on a permanent basis."

This is a Weaken CR question. We get the conclusion in the question stem and are told to find the answer that supports deciding against this conclusion, so approaching this to "weaken" the conclusion should be the way to handle it.

neeshpal wrote:
To evaluate a plan to save money on office-space expenditures by having its employees work at home, XYZ Company asked volunteers from its staff to try the arrangement for six months. During this period, the productivity of these employees was as high as or higher than before.

Identification of Assumptions: 1) The productivity of the employees who participated in the program

Which of the following, if true, would argue most strongly against deciding, on the basis of the trial results, to implement the company’s plan?

(A) The employees who agreed to participate in the test of the plan were among the company’s most self-motivated and independent workers.

This undermines the ability to make the conclusion that the plan is effective and shoudl be implemented. These volunteers are going to be productive regardless of where they are. The question is the average employee. Is that employee going to be less productive? This doesn't completey blow the conclusion out of the water, but it adds doubt to the reliability of the conclusion to implement the work-at-home plan.

(B) The savings that would accrue from reduced office-space expenditures alone would be sufficient to justify the arrangement for the company, apart from any productivity increase.
This uses a logical occurance, that money would be saved for other reasons, but in the end, it supports the conclusion that the work at home plan should be used, even though for a different reason than is concluded above. Incorrect.
(C) Other companies that have achieved successful results from work-at-home plans have work forces that are substantially larger than that of XYZ.

[color=#FF0000]This doesn't give us a reason to doubt this particular conclusion. We need to undermine one of the premises or assumptions made by the company to come to this conclusion. Looking at other companies is irrelevant to this decision. Incorrect.

[/color]
(D) The volunteers who worked at home were able to communicate with other employees as necessary for performing the work.

This may be true, and it accounts for the reason the employees were productive, but we're looking for reasons that undermine the conclusion or make the conclusion LESS sound. Incorrect.

(E) Minor changes in the way office work is organized at XYZ would yield increases in employee productivity similar to those achieved in the trial.
This does offer and alternative approach, but this doesn't attach the conclusion. It just provides an alternative solution to increase employees productivity. The goal was not to save money on office-related expenditures by having the employees work from home. Incorrect.
Please explain answers

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Re: CR - Office Space [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2008, 13:40
neeshpal - don't forget that we are looking to undermine the conclusion that the plan should be implemented.

C is
1) Irrelevant to this company's results. This brings in new information, which is ok for a weaken question, but the information is not relevant.

2) The information also actually strengthens the question. It shows how another company did this and saved money. This lends support to why this company should want to do the same thing. This is the opposite of "weaken".
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Re: CR - Office Space [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2008, 13:55
neeshpal wrote:
To evaluate a plan to save money on office-space expenditures by having its employees work at home, XYZ Company asked volunteers from its staff to try the arrangement for six months. During this period, the productivity of these employees was as high as or higher than before.

Which of the following, if true, would argue most strongly against deciding, on the basis of the trial results, to implement the company’s plan?

(A) The employees who agreed to participate in the test of the plan were among the company’s most self-motivated and independent workers. -> this actually invalidates the above calculation that productivity can be higher even from home.CORRECT Productivity is the basis on which decision relies.hence if this wrong the decision is flawed
(B) The savings that would accrue from reduced office-space expenditures alone would be sufficient to justify the arrangement for the company, apart from any productivity increase. -> out of scope
(C) Other companies that have achieved successful results from work-at-home plans have work forces that are substantially larger than that of XYZ. ->irrelevant
(D) The volunteers who worked at home were able to communicate with other employees as necessary for performing the work. ->strengthens the decision
(E) Minor changes in the way office work is organized at XYZ would yield increases in employee productivity similar to those achieved in the trial. -> main plan is to make employees work from home so this does not support or weaken

Please explain answers

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Re: To evaluate a plan to save money on office space [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2013, 07:19
Can someone help here.

I have reservation against A.

If those folks were independently productive, then why to bear the overhead of office expense of those folks. Let them work from home. Our goal is to cut down on office expense so we ll save on office expenses and would not compromise on productivity

Whats wrong...

Left with no other possible explanation I went for C.

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To evaluate a plan to save money on office space [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2014, 17:00
ygdrasil24 wrote:
Can someone help here.

I have reservation against A.

If those folks were independently productive, then why to bear the overhead of office expense of those folks. Let them work from home. Our goal is to cut down on office expense so we ll save on office expenses and would not compromise on productivity

Whats wrong...

Left with no other possible explanation I went for C.


Prethinking: We have chosen a sample space, few employees and we concluded that since with few test employee the Plan was successful, it will be always successful.
But here comes the point that we should challenge our thinking, can we generalize that if with few employees a plan testing has been successful then it would be so with everyone. Chances are these were very loyal employees and others won't. Also, these employees who were tested and gave good productivity were the most talented among the co-workers. Chances are that these people has ample work experience and Knowledge to be Productive and other employees wont have such capability. We have to negate and break the Hypothesis that if a test with few employee has been successful it will be successful with every one else and A wins.
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To evaluate a plan to save money on office space [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2014, 12:46
Think, If I agree with the selected option, it will not help me

(A) The employees who agreed to participate in the test of the plan were among the company’s most self-motivated and independent workers. ( Ah, not all are self motivated, so if I agree it will not not be good for company)
(B) The savings that would accrue from reduced office-space expenditures alone would be sufficient to justify the arrangement for the company, apart from any productivity increase. ( concerned about productivity)
(C) Other companies that have achieved successful results from work-at-home plans have work forces that are substantially larger than that of XYZ. (Not related, stick to this company)
(D) The volunteers who worked at home were able to communicate with other employees as necessary for performing the work. (will help)
(E) Minor changes in the way office work is organized at XYZ would yield increases in employee productivity similar to those achieved in the trial.(help)

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Given that employees of the XYZ Company could [#permalink]

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Given that employees of the XYZ Company could, in theory, do their work at home, the company developed a radical plan to increase efficiency: eliminate office-space expenditures by having employees work at home.To evaluate this plan, XYZ’s managers asked volunteers from the
company’s staff to try the arrangement for six months. There were several volunteers; significantly,
their productivity during this period was as high as or higher than before.

Which of the following, if true, would argue most strongly against deciding, on the basis of the trial
results, to implement the company’s plan?
A. The employees who agreed to participate in the test of the plan were among the company’s
most self-motivated and independent workers.
B. The savings that would accrue from reduced office-space expenditures alone would be
sufficient to justify implementation of the plan apart from any productivity increases.
C. Other companies that have achieved successful results from work-at-home plans have work
forces that are substantially larger than that of XYZ.
D. The volunteers who worked at home were able to communicate with other employees as
necessary for performing the work.
E. Recent changes in the way work is organized at XYZ’s company offices have not brought
about any productivity increases.
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Re: Given that employees of the XYZ Company could [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2015, 19:12
IMO - A
A. attacks the group of people who were part of the trail.
B. not against the trail results
C. irrelevant info about other companies
D. irrelevant info - not against the trail results
E. irrelevant info about work organisation - not against the trail info.

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Re: To evaluate a plan to save money on office space [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2016, 15:57
I would first paraphrase the question which is basically asking why is the trial stupid? I know that sounds pretty basic but honestly that's the way you can cut through this stuff. A is speaking to how representative the sample was, or wasn't in this case. It's very common on the GMAT for representativeness to come up. It's one of the key reasons that evidence can be dismissed.

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Re: To evaluate a plan to save money on office space [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jan 2017, 22:32
To evaluate a plan to save money on office space expenditures by having its employees work at home, XYZ Company asked volunteers from its staff to try the assignment for six months. During this period, the productivity of these employees was as high or higher than before.

Pre-thinking - what if the employees who took in plan are not representative of the overall workforce

Which of the following, if true, would argue most strongly against deciding on the basis of the trial results, to implement the company's plan?

(A) The employees who agreed to participate in the test of the plan were among the company's most self-motivated and independent workers. - Correct - the sample of employees who volunteered is not representative of the employees of company as a whole
(B) The savings that would accrue from reduced office-space expenditures alone would be sufficient to justify the arrangement for the company. - Incorrect
(C) Other companies that have achieved successful results from work-at-home plans have work forces that are substantially lower than that of XYZ. - Irrelevant - the size of workforce is immaterial
(D) The volunteers who worked at home were able to communicate with other employees as necessary for performing at work. - IIrrelevant - this explains how the work from home employees ensured that communication was not impacted
(E) Minor changes in the way office work is organized at XYZ would yield increases in employee productivity similar to those achieved in the trial - Irrelevant - we are not bothered about other ways

Answer A
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