Brothers and Sisters, Woman and children. Mmmhm. Oh, I have been enlightened. I have had a glimpse into the productivity and workplace future. Cast down the shackles and burdens of traditional and norm and embrace change in the workplace.
- Work at times that suit you and not conventional hours
- Throw down the granite slab of creation and take up a tool that caters to your work style.
- The habitat created for work should know no bounds.
- Where attendance was mandated substitute with output.
- Cast down those that horde information and exchange knowledge and learnings freely.
- Collaborate across many mediums and leave the digital mail where it belongs.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up at work (and up the corporate ladder) and share what your thoughts are, for you will never know who echoes such sentiments.
Whilst the above list seems to have been pulled from a prophetic tablet of some description recently I feel many workplaces are happy to stay in the norm.
Historically people have worked 9-5 in a punch-in and punch out style. This has led to people defining their workday around this. In a modern-day where society is more connected that ever, online 24/7 and the other side of the world is 200ms away this isn’t productive. But if you’re going to change the office hours Anthony, you might ask what about work? How do employers ensure they are getting value out of their staff?
By focusing on output. Output and what work the person is producing is far more important than sitting at a desk between 9-5. 9-5 doesn’t suit most people of my generation. Imagine a day where you could wake up and go for a 5am run, get home, do some emails, have breakfast with the significant other and maybe the kids, do a conference call, host some meetings, have lunch with family, spend the afternoon building a report or solution, maybe duck down to the shops and then finish a little more correspondence after dinner. Sound good?
Well if this was to work it requires to more things. Working from anywhere (like a home office or cafe) and working on any device. The mentality that the office is “inside” the corporation and everything is “outside” is slowly dying. The user’s identity is the fluid domain that is the “inside” of the corporation. Any device should be able to be used for the individuals work flow after all, we aren’t all laptop people.
Share your knowledge and keep learning. No one hires anymore for someones wealth of knowledge. Quite simply put – technology is evolving so rapidly that hordes of knowledge on a single technology get stagnant fast. Sharing knowledge and voraciously learning new things is important. Don’t wait for a formal training course to learn something new. Find that something new yourself.
Email is the one of the biggest time-sink necessities. For some reason it has become the defacto standard of communication in business and it needs to change. There is so much email that even dealing with its volume via rules and managing lists is a full-time job in itself. There are sometimes days where email is dealt with solely. With instant sending there is an expectation of instant response and quite simply that isn’t how it should be used. Collaboration platforms such as Slack, HipChat, Project Squared offering integrations into popular workflow tools help modernise these traditional smoke-signal mediums.
Whilst this post may come across as a far-fetched dream for some it is definitely how workplaces need to become. I say my generation as I teeter on the upper bounds (27 at time of writing) but the younger generations these days work like this. This is what they know. These are the inventors, creators and some of the brightest minds in the world. What these ideals do is allow us to get on with creating and producing in an environment that is comfortable to the individual.
I am lucky enough that my identity allows me the aforementioned privileges and all I need to work is a simple Internet connection and any device. Whilst I am not the epitome of productivity I do not like using tools that hamper my output. Many of our legacy systems and work place practices have an affect in orders of magnitude. Be efficient. Be awesome. Challenge.