The future of work

At this point, you’ve probably read lots of blogs providing tips about how to be more efficient, you may have downloaded the best communication apps and tools, learned new concentration techniques, and even declared yourself an expert in home-officing. Just a few months ago, a lot of people had never experienced remote working, they saw it as something for freelancers and upper management. However, here we are, learning how to work from the sofa while waiting for “normality” to return… right?

Remote working has it’s upsides… Yes, it’s hard to rock meetings with our dogs, children or husbands lurking around, but if we can separate the time and space to pay attention to our loved ones (and furry friends), we can see the bigger picture and the real perks of working from home.

Flexibility is the most obvious. This doesn’t mean working only if we feel like it and otherwise jumping into bed to watch Netflix. It’s important to create a routine and develop a new kind of “home discipline”, otherwise, we’d all spend the whole day working.

Apart from the obvious impact on our wellbeing, our productivity levels would drop (despite the sensation of being increasingly busy).

Normally, we would use our breaks in the office to chat with Karen from accounts or have a ciggie and a coffee. Now, at home, those spaces can be used to load the washing machine, “take the dog for a walk”, or pick up the Amazon package at the door while still being productive.

That’s the magic of remote work, the work-life balance can become more fluid and add extra happiness to our lives. We’ve won back of an average 1-2 hours which we would normally spend communiting and a huge environmental impact: with a decrease of 85% of pollution in big cities. 

So, you might wonder: Why we haven’t tried this before?!

Management models

The answer is the Management model that many companies have been using, one in which people are some of the most important, non-living, non-human and non-feeling resources. In order to make the most of the precious productive hours and avoid employees wasting time, the vast majority of companies set inflexible working hours, and a check in/check out system. 

That might have worked during the Industrial Era, but the obsolescence of this model is becoming more evident every day.

“In the past, jobs were about muscles, now they are about brains, but in the future, they will be about the heart.” 

-Minouche Shafik

If under circumstances of uncertainty and crisis, we’ve been able to prove that we’re capable of executing our tasks with the same level of efficiency and productively as we did in the office, it’s due to a certain level of accountability. We’re talking about 3 main qualities: commitment, proactivity and responsibility.

Ileana Castro, Fuckup Nights HQ People and Admin Manager, explained our secret formula for maintaining a great culture of communication, commitment and ownership to The Failure Institute If we’re capable of developing these qualities in our teams, it genuinely won’t matter if you’re at home at work, the energy and resources for being efficient will always be there.

The truth is that, society is ready and willing to work remotely, and this crisis proves it. Most of us already have a home wifi connection and the tools needed. We just need our companies and decision-makers to trust us.

We’ve applied this model at Fuckup Nights for years, and have found that it’s a positive practice for encouraging engagement, trust and ownership.

When we get out of this (we will, trust us), the new facets and skills developed during these unique conditions will spark the creation of new schemes and functional structures for the future of work.

That’s what resilience is about: adapting in times of crisis and coming out of the other side 1% better.

Maybe it’s time to consider a remote work modal for our teams. Perhaps not as the full time, mandatory condition, but a healthy option for a couple of days each week. Just imagine the positive consequences it would have on our lives and the planet.

So, what will you do after the storm passes?

Marta Cabañas

Marta Cabañas

Enterprise Account Manager | Europe HQ

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