Archive for the ‘Trends’ Category
Today we’ll discuss some recent technology developments that are significant for the future of work in general, and out-of-office work in particular.
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- Microsoft buys LinkedIn
- Facebook Live: Everything You Need To Know
- The Pokémon Go Secret to Your Business Success
- Facebook buys Oculus
- This Is What Your Future Virtual-Reality Office Will Be Like
- VirtualSpeech for public speaking
- Google’s Push Into VR
- Google: Defeating Go champion shows AI can ‘find solutions humans don’t see’
- Chatbot lawyer overturns 160,000 parking tickets in London and New York
- Future Work Skills 2020
Working Out of Office is growing in popularity but it still has some way to go before it becomes a mainstream way of working. One of the obstacles on the path to mainstream acceptance is employers regarding flexible work arrangements such as telework to be a benefit or perk, rather than as a deliberate strategy for recruiting, retaining and engaging staff. Speakers at a recent conference on flexible work listed several key aspects of successful Out of Office work programmes:
- Senior managers embrace telework as a strategy and an essential element of organizational success.
- The program is informal, meaning that employees don’t have rigid requirements on when they need to be in the office.
- Employers measure whether work is getting done and not the amount of time people spend in the office.
- Employees feel free to request telework.
With the rising popularity of Out Of Office work, some enterprising gym and health club operators are expanding their lounges to provide members with co-working spaces. Club operators had noticed many of their members hanging out at the gym after a workout, using the lounge WiFi to get work done. So they decided to tap into this by offering more accommodating facilities for Out Of Office work. This is great for workers as it provides them with another venue for Out Of Office work, and it’s great for gym and health club operators because people who spend more time at the club also spend more money there.
Read the full WSJ article.
What do you think? Would you enjoy doing your work at the gym? Have youc ome across any innovative co-working spaces? Please let us know in the comments below…
As much as we like and endorse Out of Office work, we also recognise it has some disadvantages. One that isn’t commonly discussed is that Out of Office workers are often seen as second-class citizens, and possibly overlooked for interesting opportunities and promotion.
A report by Bain & Company and Chief Executive Women backs this up, suggesting this is particularly disadvantageous for men in the workplace, who are seen as “not serious”, and hence not treated equally with colleagues. The same applies to some women as well, but Out of Office work can also be seen as positive for them, because (rightly or wrongly) it’s seen as an indication of greater commitment, especially when juggling family and home life.
In an increasingly connected world, it’s important for leaders to understand the special dynamics of global teams, so they can reduce the perceived distance, manage time differences, and embrace diversity across cultures.
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It’s good to see a few schools are preparing their students for Out Of Office work by introducing work from home days. A handful of high schools in the US schedule “virtual days” when students login to school from home. In spite of a few teething problems and initial resistance, the work from home days are preparing students for life after high school when study and work will be done remotely.
This article in EdWeek describes the experience and suggests tips for educators interested in running work from home days:
- Use a common learning-management system
- Students tend to respond best to “synchronous” lessons that allow for real-time communication and interaction
- Professional development and plenty of advanced preparation time is a must for teaching staff
- Ensure students have Internet access
- Help parents understand what you’re doing and why
As much as I like the concept of Out of Office work, I also admire people who are transforming the traditional office. In this respect, Deloitte’s new office building in Amsterdam might be a glimpse into the future of offices.
- It’s eco-friendly (lights dim automatically in empty offices)
- The coffee machine knows how you like your coffee
- You can order in meals for your team when working late
- You get assigned a desk when you walk in (based on your schedule for the day, not just on what happens to be available).
As 2015 draws to a close, organisations are planning for the new year and beyond. What will 2016 hold for Out Of Office workers and distributed teams? Jared Lindzon looks at six emerging trends that he predicts will have an impact in the coming year:
- Remote-First Businesses: enabled by advancements in communication technology, the remote-first structure provides significant advantages over traditional organisational hierarchies.
- The Rise Of Independent Consultants: highly specialised consultants, who were previously only found in large consulting firms, are moving to the freelance market.
- Less PowerPoint, More Video: the cost of producing video and motion graphics has fallen significantly, ushering in a shift away from static presentations to more dynamic formats.
- Work-Life Balance, Revisited: a shift to work-life integration. Organisations will need to focus on making work more meaningful and rewarding for their workers.
- New Leadership Expectations: leaders will be expected to be more inspirational, collaborative, and results-focused.
- Consumer-Grade Design as the New Normal: good design is valued when selling products to consumers. It must be similarly valued in the tools and systems used by teams and workers.
For the last 200 years, the office with a permanent staff has been the default work environment of the knowledge worker. But it wasn’t in the past, and it’s not necessarily the best for the future. What would the workplace look like if offices weren’t an option?
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