After the sudden and miraculous shift to remote work – the office fightback has well and truly begun.
Distributed working requires a whole system change. It requires trusting people, it requires removing unnecessary management, and it requires a seismic shift in how we collaborate with others.
This isn’t a binary choice between the office and remote work. Instead we must consider what work used to be, what it is now and what it could be in the future.
In an increasingly remote and distributed world of work the employees who will have the biggest impact on the most people will rarely be the official leaders at the top.
One of the few positives of the pandemic lockdown was the opportunity to reset the way in which we spend our working day. This was the chance to prove that remote work actually works. As someone whose job it is to run workplace experiments I’d say six or seven weeks is a very good point … Continue reading Death By Zoom: Have We Failed The Mass Home Working Experiment?
Remote work has accelerated 10 years in 10 days. The only thing that could pull people back to the office is the ego of the bad middle manager scared of losing control – Chris Herd The revolution in remote working , when it came, was peaceful. Orderly even. There was no fightback from technophobe hold-outs … Continue reading Did A Virus Just Bring About The End Of The Office?
If you are working in an office today you will be interrupted – or you will interrupt yourself – every 3 minutes. And what’s worse is it will take most of us up to 23 minutes to recover from that distraction. If your boss lets you, go home. Walking out the office door is likely to be … Continue reading Why Do We Hate Our Offices?
Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done Peter Drucker Management is the greatest inefficiency in any organisation. Many of you will be familiar with the work of Gary Hamel , but his explanation of how management ‘spreads’ is always helpful. Typically a small organisation might start off … Continue reading What If We Replaced All Our Managers With Robots?
Deleted my Tesla titles last week to see what would happen. I’m now the Nothing of Tesla. Seems fine so far. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 29, 2018 Last week Elon Musk dropped all job titles associated with Tesla referring to himself as CEO of nothing. Although he soon discovered that some jobs are legally required … Continue reading Is It Time To Get Rid Of The Job Title?
Calm, focused, undistracted, the linear mind is being pushed aside by a new kind of mind that wants and needs to take in and dole out information in short, disjointed, often overlapping bursts—the faster, the better – Nicholas Carr , The Shallows You’d have thought we’d have given up on the physical office by now. … Continue reading Continuous Partial Attention: Designing A Less Distracted Future Of Work
From ten to eleven, have breakfast for seven; From eleven to noon, think you’ve come too soon; From twelve to one, think what’s to be done; From one to two, find nothing to do; From two to three, think it will be; A very great bore to stay till four. – A Day At The … Continue reading How The 9-5 Saps Our Creativity and Harms Our Productivity
When someone in public service says, ‘I don’t use social media. No one wants to know what I had for breakfast!’ I hear, ‘I don’t have the vaguest interest in understanding how an increasing number of citizens get information or choose to interact.’ – Leah Lockhart What are we doing about boosting the Digital IQ … Continue reading How To Find And Nurture Digital Readiness
“Management is not only dysfunctional, Management is also destructive” – Companies Without Managers Last week we held the first of the Bromford #inspiremelab sessions – where colleagues curated and then discussed provocations around the future of how we work. We covered off a range of subjects but the conversation kept coming back to that opening quote … Continue reading Why Do We Still Need Managers?
“A key reason why true mobile working isn’t being implemented is because of management culture. The case for mobile working has been proven; it is the people who are the biggest barriers.”- 2017 Deloitte Human Capital Trends report The way we work , it seems, is no longer working. What we’ve long suspected – that … Continue reading Digital Transformation is Failing. Why?
“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” – Elbert Hubbard Automation gets a bad rap. The original draft of our design principles stated “Automate everything that can be automated”. People flinched – it was seen as too harsh. Mention automation and people make a mental … Continue reading How Automation Helps Us Solve The Problems That Matter
Work alone. You’re going to be best able to design revolutionary products and features if you’re working on your own. Not on a committee. Not on a team – Steve Wozniak In the early years of Amazon , as the company was in transition from fledgling startup to world-eating behemoth , managers held a corporate … Continue reading Lessons From a Year Spent on a Two Pizza Team
“Until there is a monumental shift in the leadership dynamic from the old fashioned command and control to a collaborative, status free, matrix way of working, then the debate about the need for an office (in the traditional sense) will be a long one.” – Tracey Johnson commenting on Why The Death Of The Office … Continue reading Managers are waste: Five organisations saying goodbye to the boss
“Imagine a pair of horses in the early 1900s talking about technology. One worries that all these new mechanical muscles will make horses unnecessary. The other reminds him that everything so far has made their lives easier. Remember all that farm work? Remember running coast-to-coast delivering mail? Remember riding into battle? All terrible. These city … Continue reading Robot Revolution: Our disappearing jobs and the future of work