In the next part of our series of posts looking at how the world is changing around us we look at how the work environment is changing around us. With the evolution of mobile technologies and the ever increasing bandwidth that is available to us (in terms of both location and capacity) we are afforded truly different options in how we work.
The Hybrid Organisation studies showed that on average we spend only 45% of our time at our desks – that’s an incredible statistic, not only does it provide a hint at areas that we may make some major savings, but it is also incredibly telling about the way in which we now carry out our professional lives.
We’re moving to a world where the term “work” no longer defines a location, but is centred purely in the activity itself.
Working in this way offers not just greater flexibility for us in how we blend our personal and professional lives, but also provides a great opportunity for us to spend more time outside with our customers, peers and even strangers – all of which combine to make us more successful and more innovative and better still, more effective both at home and in work. The days of the binary work life balance are gone, some people seems to think this means working 24/7 but to me it’s about empowering individuals to choose where and when they want to get things done – equipping your people to be productive wherever they chose (or have to be) is the first big step down the path of success.
In our Dutch office, we reduced office space by 30% effectively pushing our people out into the big wide world – the results – 50% increase in sales and a much happier workforce.
How dull would I be (or rather as my wife reminds me, how much more dull would I be) if all I did was spent my time within the Microsoft bubble? I’m a far richer, more innovative and productive individual if I get out a bit more and spend time with people like you and your teams – even with people who care less about technology, it’s all constructive input and food for thought that goes to make me far more useful and valuable to my employer.
But companies need to change in order to truly get the most from this opportunity, especially in a knowledge based economy, we need to move to a more outcomes based measurement, far too often, we measure people on process not on what they achieve – this alone forms one of the major barriers between those that will taste success and those that don’t.