“Flexibility will become the norm for employers who want to win the war on talent” – so says one of the authorities quoted in this Fast Company article
Wow. Has flexible working really pushed itself to the front of the queue so definitively? The ways things are going with flexible and remote working, it’s as if we’re aiming for a world where a CEO sets long-term goals and then whoosh – this elegantly synchronised team of calm innovators glides into motion (remotely, of course) and, hey presto, fantastic business results come out the other end. Oh and not one team member tore out a hair or lost a wink of sleep in the process. As for regular meetings – no need, thank you very much.
Is this really possible? Are we genuinely getting closer to the optimal way for humans to work? Or are we simply setting ourselves up for more problems down the line?
I asked myself these questions and came to another one: if such hands-off working really is the ideal, why haven’t we tried ditching the office set-up before?
My guess is that we have tried it before – that individual businesses in different locations and under a multitude of circumstances have attempted to assign the office to days of yore. And, generally, it didn’t quite work. It didn’t quite work because people have questions and unforeseeable bumps in the road that need ironing out before they can progress to the next stage or task. It’s this unforeseeable aspect that necessitates office culture – things crop up constantly and they need immediate resolution if a business is to blossom.
So what’s different nowadays? We are on the cusp of having the technology available to us to deal remotely with the unforeseeable. And once the news of that technology’s success is known to one company, it will quickly be known to all companies.