Changing Working Norms – Ready for the Work of the Future?
by Andrew O'Connell, 04.06.2015
W-LAN, Smartphones, Tablets, Social Networks and Cloud Computing as far as the eye can see. We have quietly moved towards becoming technology gurus, with statuses rarely differentiating from “Online.” It doesn’t matter where we are, when the sun goes to bed or who we are with; technological progress has us in its grasp and even […]
W-LAN, Smartphones, Tablets, Social Networks and Cloud Computing as far as the eye can see. We have quietly moved towards becoming technology gurus, with statuses rarely differentiating from “Online.” It doesn’t matter where we are, when the sun goes to bed or who we are with; technological progress has us in its grasp and even companies are finding ways to adapt towards it. Technological advancements have undone the corset that was prehistoric working time models; business organisation has been turned upside down. The bell has tolled for the structured working day at the office… future workplaces – Here we come!
Work Everywhere and Nowhere
Once upon a time, the workplace and the company were inseparably linked. That was the past! The necessity of a steady job disappears with every technological influx. Internet enabled devices and cloud-computing make working from anywhere in the world a possibility. Whether lying on the beach, on the bus or train, or in your home office: the workplace is mobile and can be easily packed into your luggage. That’s bound to please your boss as well as allowing you to work where you feel most comfortable. There must be a few places that spur more creativity than four, dreary office walls. Those that are already profiting from home office working and cloud-computing are also saving time and money by removing the need to commute… whilst also sparing their nerves! The gained mobility and flexibility does have a downside however: the office environment creates a certain amount of self-discipline and organisation. At home you can only think about possible distractions or the lack of being caught slacking by your boss. Motivation can therefore quickly jump out of the window.
International Collaboration in the Virtual Team
In our globalized world, the office door not only intrudes into our home, but into other countries. International collaboration in many companies is already taken for granted. The consequence: real teams are becoming virtual teams. The exchange of data can take place with the simplest of ease thanks to cloud-computing. The catch: The lack of face-to-face meetings and different time zones make it difficult to work in a virtual team. International collaboration in a virtual team was created from a challenge into an opportunity, where communication culture can be preserved and new technology can be utilized.
Beyond 9 to 5: towards Flexible Working Hours
If you mention “flexible working hours” around the office, employee heart rates will escalate. Working time models such as flexi-time and trust based working mean more freedom and more flexibility. Output rather than temporal presence is the motto. What’s not possible during the day – whether for business or pleasure, depending on time difference – can be done late at night in the home office. New working time models allow you to decide when to work and when not to; and that means an increase in productivity!
Work-Life Balance Hand in Hand?
Flexible working hours and independent working are all well and good. New working time models and restructured company organisation cause professional and private lives to slowly fuse together. Housework instead of home office and sunbathing instead of working on holiday. No wonder that many find their private life too short. By using self-management and organisational talent, the time and location flexibility can be turned into a positive. If you can organise yourself well, then flexible working hours and location are ideal to bring your private and working life into harmony. It’s not only family friendly, but also provides happy and satisfied employees in the long run.
Global, mobile, flexible – the magic words for future forms of business organisation and working time models. Perhaps you are already in the “Virtual Workplace” of the future and are making acquaintances with the opportunities?
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