When thinking about your staff and customers, it may be time to think about the changing dynamics of people working from home. I am reading a lot about Wellbeing, and the availability of Wellbeing Consultants, many recently qualified from a 48 hour course. But I am not sure what they are saying. From personal experience it can be a dangerous thing to have outside people playing with your team dynamics and expectations.
What happens if your staff or customers are all working from home?
Last week Jack Dorsey CEO at Twitter, told employees they could work from home permanently, and offerred then $1000 to help with the set up.
Also the Nationwide Mutual Insurance company (90 years old; $49 billion in sales; 4000 employees) shut down 5 offices, and told their staff they will be working permanently from home.
OK I can see the cost savings. Property costs rent and Rates are often the biggest cost behind Salaries. Also they are a pain to deal with, legal expenses, people trying to catch you out, untrustworthy landlords and their lawyers. Why is a lease document 1/2 inch thick?
But what about the people?
What about their sense of belonging? What will replace the informal cigarette with the directors behind the bike shed?
Where will the ideas come from?
I remember one of our Agency House Ads, that showed the ideas happenning in the Pub, on a walk, on the loo, up a mountain, anywhere but the office, BUT those ideas were built upon and developped by the team as a whole.
Will the client buy it, can I sell it in? the Suits,
How will it look and feel? The Art directors.
How will the copy read, what is the takeaway strap line? The Copywriters.
Can we produce it for the budget? The Production team.
It took all of those skills to produce a communications campaign.
It was Fun. It was Groundbreaking. It was Innovative. It got results.
Will it be the same working from home? Probably not.
The reason why the Open University has regular get togethers, is so there is a sense of belonging to an Alumni.
That sense of belonging has to do with feeling as if you are part of a successful team.
Will it be the same working from home? Or how will it work? Have a think.
Also who pays the use of home as office bills? Will the employed get tax relief?
Do you invite Big Brother into your home? With sales on snooping software to see when you are working; being at an all time high.
Will we move to defining outputs and paying people on results? If so what will the Public sector do?
How will this effect your relationship with your family?
If you have a big house, it's easier. What if you live in a two bedroom flat with kids and no garden?
Lots of food for thought.
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