Future of Work

Ok, so I just threw in the WTF to see if you were paying attention.

Sort of. Maybe. I mean, there is some application here.

So, what’s the answer? Do we absolutely work from home if at all possible? Come fill an office that we are still paying for? Work from Starbucks? From the beach? (this is why the WTF reference isn’t entirely unreasonable)

From my way of thinking, the answer is “yes.”

And “no.”

And mostly, “It depends.”

The real issue is Trust. Employees seem to believe that managers are over-controlling ogres wanting to keep their thumbs on everybody at the office by keeping everyone within eyesight. Bosses apparently believe that Work From Home is a euphemism for work out, do the dishes and walk the dog.

Next come the studies and research, all appropriately biased for their viewing public.

Then, like political ideology, both “sides” dig in their heels. That, sports fans, is the crux of the problem.

The effort here doesn’t have to be this win-lose, zero-sum game of chicken. It really doesn’t.

Let’s have less focus on WHERE work can best be done, and more on HOW work can be done best.

After all, that’s what we all say we want from our respective views on this, right? The best way to get things done for all concerned?

Some tasks seem custom-made for remote or working at home. Solo brain work, research, front-of-computer interactions with little need for collaborative or external discussions…

Others feel like an in-office appearance may be better: innovative brainstorming, real time problem solving with disparate entities, creating the foundation for a collaborating team…

Both can coexist. Instead of slugging it out over which location is better, realize first that a hybrid creation may actually benefit all – managers, employees, even the organization. Work through the issues and challenges professionally, keeping your mind open all the while.

So, focus on hybrid first, as that gives us choices. Then allow the discussion and decisions to follow their logical course to help arrive at location.

The result should be a complete conversation before ever addressing the location.

More on this in future articles (feel free to email me with thoughts/opinions).

For more about this, see my video, The Future of Work: More Hybrid Less Remote.

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